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Coca-Cola Spiced

Updated: Apr 1


Foolish adventurers, you’ve entered the Crypt of the Relentless Gargoyle! Make your peace with the hereafter, for here you shall surely… oh, I am so sorry, I grabbed the wrong script. Ahem. Greetings, and welcome to the Reckless Gastronome. We’ve got a brand-new Coca-Cola flavor and unlike the Creations line of products (Starlight, Dreamworld, Y3000, etc.) this one is going to be a permanent addition to the Coca-Cola family.

 

Jokes about the original formula for Coke (for those of you who only listen to my videos, I’m well aware that my accent/vocal damage makes me say Coke weird, just ignore it, and stay tuned for when I have to do a review of Utz potato chips) are tired and old. Now while that normally doesn’t stop me (indeed, I revel in it), I’m going to show how hip and young I am by referencing the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert. The spice must flow, after all. In the interest of disclosure, I have only read one of the universally panned sequel books in high school, but I did watch a bootlegged three-hour long 1988 television version that I bought in a literally underground music shop on VHS Cassette (CD Cellar, if anyone reading this grew up in Falls Church, Virginia in the 90’s.)  I have also seen the modern 2021 version, but I find it lacks the desperate weirdness of the 1984 movie (if you don’t have Sting in a winged codpiece is it even the same movie?). And once again I’m off topic (almost like downing several bottles of soda was poor decision and my eyes didn’t turn ultramarine, but they did start to float.)


Spice is such a nebulous word. It can mean so many things to so many people. It can mean herbal seasoning, something that gives zest or relish, a pungent or fragrant odor, or I’ve even heard it used as the plural of spouse (although those people have way too much time on their hands.) Then it gets even more confusing with Spicy and it’s less common and fairly outdated cousin Spiced. Spicy sounds hot, flashy, and exotic like racing around in a red sports car; whereas Spiced gives the impression of sitting in the back of a Conestoga wagon hoping the tonic works before the Consumption claims your mortal soul. Spicy is an adventure, Spiced is “maybe this will cover the smell of our food spoiling.” Is Spiced a killing word? Of course, it’s not all dysentery and doom, Spiced Rum is quite good, but even it uses 18th century imagery of pirates to advertise. Still, Coca-Cola Spiced is a way better name than Duncan Idaho, that just sounds like a potato doughnut.

 

In 2022 Coke came out with a limited time flavor that they called Starlight. They were quite cagey about what it’s actual flavor was, but at the time they just said the flavor was “space.” Which was really helpful, if you’re a Spacing Guild fish/slug hybrid that can fold space, but for the rest of us it was just a guessing game. It turns out this may have been a hint, in 2009 astronomers found that the dust cloud in the center of our galaxy contains ethyl formate, which is what gives raspberries their flavor and also smells like rum. Well, now we know, Spiced is what happens when Starlight gets a second Stella Star (I didn’t say I was only going to make Dune references). It’s basically a double strength Starlight. Or to make it more confusing and nerdy (my wheelhouse); if Starlight is a Graboid, then Spiced is a Shai-Hulud.

 

Is reaching for a bottle of Spiced like putting your hand in the Gom Jabbar? There is nothing to fear (fear is the mind-killer), the flavor is a little odd, but nothing offensive. Even though it’s named Spiced, the raspberry flavor is prominent with the spices giving it a much milder aftertaste than regular Coke. It’s hard to guess just which spices are used but if I had to wager (which is something I would never do, Lady Luck is no mistress of mine), I’d say there is definitely cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. There could be others, but its hard to tell with a mélange. The flavor can be a little bit cloying, so I recommend drinking it cold or on ice. There is a Zero Sugar version, but since artificial sugar passes through me like a slow blade through a Holtzman shield, I’ve had to get an outside opinion on how it tastes. Per my lovely and talented spouse, it’s less sweet, and a bit more acrid. Also, it somehow tastes even less “natural” which is like saying “the dustiest end table in Pompeii.” Since I’m such a thorough researcher, I’ve also found that it mixes quite well with rum, but I imagine any sweet brown liquor will work.

 

When all is said and Dune (I regret nothing), Coca-Cola is making a bold statement adding Spiced to its pantheon of flavors. While I personally like it, I think for most people it’s going to be too avant-garde, too desperately weird, to really catch on. Maybe it’ll get a cult following of people who’ll shave their heads and try to find the Kwisatz Haderach.

 


By Martin Peyruc

 

Found at Safeway and anywhere on Arrakis

1 Comment


Who is Duncan Idaho? 😉

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