10 Strange Coca-Cola Flavors From Around the World
The story of the world’s most famous soft drink goes that Dr. John Pemberton concocted the original mixture that would become the Coca-Cola beverage we all know over a fire in the backyard of his Atlanta home on March 29th, 1886. He envisioned it as a cure for a hangover.
Several weeks later, on May 8, he took the mixture to an Atlanta drug store and blended it with carbonated water to create the first ever soda drink. And, ever since then, the Coca-Cola company has been bringing different formulations of the beverage to the market. Some good … some a bit weird.
To mark the anniversary of the invention of Coke, we have collected a few of the odder inventions brought to us by Coca-Cola. And we wonder if Dr. Pemberton rolls over in his grave.
Green Tea Coke
Soda should be more like fresh, whole foods. Carmel color, bubbles and sugar aside, a cola drink should resemble simpler, more healthful beverages. It’s what everyone is thinking and only Coca-Cola will say. Which is why this flavor of Coke was unleashed on the unsuspecting citizens of Japan in 2009. They haven’t thought enough of the rest of us to share it in other locales, but judging by the fact that the woman in the video above describes its taste as “like waste water,” we can are pretty okay with that.
Along those same lines, but without the leafy taste, Coca-Cola Light Plus is a version of Coke that is infused with vitamins and antioxidants. Apparently it’s for those moments when you really want a soda, but feel like you should actually be having a healthy beverage that contains vitamins and nutritional value. This doesn’t exactly count as a strange flavor of Coke, because we aren’t really sure you can taste the vitamins. In fact, the FDA told Coca-Cola they weren’t allowed to call it “plus” because it is a snack food and they hadn’t even added enough vitamins to qualify as an official “plus” food.
As far as we can tell, this flavor of Coke is only available in the new and randomly placed in limited supply Coke Freestyle machines. If you had been in New Zealand for a brief period in 2005, you could have bought some, but the limited release indicates you may not have wanted to. While you might think that cherry is the only fruit that belongs in a Coke, according to the gang at SeriousEats.com, the raspberry flavor is better.
Another flavor of Coca-Cola you’ll only be able to get out of a Freestyle machine if you’re in the US is Orange Coke. In 2007, after Lime Coke and Lemon Coke were released, Coca-Cola wanted to tap the citrus market again, this time with orange. They say it went over well, but the response can’t have been that great because you can only get it in Latvia, Poland and Russia now.
Black Cherry Vanilla Coke
How many flavors can you put into one can of Coke? Cherry Coke is not enough. Vanilla Coke is not enough. Coca-Cola takes it all the way with Black Cherry Vanilla Coke. There are so many flavors in this Coke that Coca-Cola can’t even come up with a broader description of the tastes. You get what you get. Just don’t get it confused with your cough syrup.
This one popped up on the internet a while back and, frankly, we’re not entirely sure that it’s real. Some posters claim Coke test-marketed the salty/sweet dream drink in certain markets, but we’re not convinced. A diet soda laced with bacon flavor would no doubt have caused health experts/bacon aficionados a to have a conniption.
Yes, Coke is already black. But Coke Blak is a little something different, and a little something not available in the US. The official Coke take on the beverage is that it is “Coke effervescence with coffee essence.” We think carbonated coffee would definitely wake you up in the morning– and potentially explode your heart. So, if you’re in Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Slovakia or Spain and feeling a bit sluggish, you may want to pop into the corner store and get yourself a Coke Blak. Perhaps the drink is as trippy as the commercials.
Back in 1993, Coke attempted to connect with the disaffected members of Generation X through a soda that was just as snarky and “over it” as they were. With a trendy can designed by graphic novelists Charles Burns and Daniel Clowes, a pithy catchphrase (“Things Are Going to Be OK”) and a vaguely citrus-y taste, OK Soda was unleashed on a few markets around the country. The soda even came with a “manifesto,” with phrases like “What’s the point of OK? Well, what’s the point of anything?” printed on the can. Unsurprisingly, a soda featuring sad-looking Gen X-ers staring you down while you guzzle failed to connect with the public. Coke discontinued the beverage, but it has achieved something of a cult following on the Web.
“What,” you ask, “is citra?” We aren’t sure, but it seems to be a combination of the colors green and yellow and fruits that resemble lemons and limes. (So, Fresca basically.) We’re guessing it’s a citrusy flavor of Coke, but since we’re not in Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Bosnia or Herzegovina, we are unable test our theory.
There can’t be a list of unsuccessful and strange Coke flavors without mentioning New Coke, one of the biggest product and marketing disasters of all time. To compete with Pepsi, Coca-Cola changed their recipe the match Pepsi’s sweeter flavor and then alienated their loyal fan base by completely invalidating their choice to drink Coke in the first place. There was massive backlash, so Coca-Cola quickly put the beverage we knew and loved back on the shelves as Coke Classic and then pulled New Coke altogether several years later. Although, you can still find it if you ever end up in American Samoa where it took off for some reason.