Archive for the Coca Cola Category

It’s Passover 2008, time to get your Kosher Coke!!

Posted in Coca Cola, holiday, pop culture, soda with tags , , , on April 22, 2008 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Well, the Jewish holiday of Passover started on Sunday and lasts all week. If you were reading this blog last year then you know of the soda scavenger hunt that happens every year around this time by soda enthusiasts.

Passover 2008

To recap, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, Coke and Pepsi will release kosher versions of their flagship products (Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke). Part of the process includes having the soda manufacturing process approved and blessed by a rabbi. Another part of the process includes removing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) from Coke, Pepsi and Sprite and using real sugar. In the late ’70s, Coke and Pepsi stopped using real sugar to sweeten their non-diet sodas and switched to HFCS because it was cheaper. For most soda enthusiasts, this changed the drink’s taste. Now, during Passover, for anyone going to look for it, you can find Coke, Pepsi and Sprite as they were made back in the ’70s with real cane or beet sugar (sucrose).

It’s fairly easy to find kosher Coke in my area. If they aren’t identified in a separate Kosher display, they are recognizable by their yellow caps with the Jewish Passover mark on top. Here’s what I found at my local supermarket in the Coke aisle (there was no separate Passover dispay):

You can see 4 bottles of Coke. They are all very similar. Actually, the water beads on the Coke labels are slightly different, but everything else is the same. The two bottles on the left are kosher Coke made with real sugar, identified by their bright yellow caps. The 2 bottles on the right are regular HFCS Coke, with the usual red caps. Check out the ingredients list from the yellow capped kosher Coke:

You can see it is sweetened with sucrose which is real sugar. With 2 liter bottles it’s really that easy to identify. With cans you have to search for the Passover mark on the fridgepack. I don’t think the ingredients list on the fridgepack will necessarily say it’s made with sucrose.

I’ve been doing this search for a few years now. The Coke is easy to find. I have yet to find Kosher Pepsi or Sprite. From what I’ve heard this year, Pepsi is using white caps with the passover mark on the top, but I’ve found nothing but the Pepsi Stuff blue caps on all the Pepsi 2 liters. I’ll have to look a little harder. Sprite should have a yellow cap just like Coke, but I have yet to find that one either.

When I bought kosher Coke last year, I also bought a 20oz of regular HFCS Coke to do a taste test. The difference in taste between the two is noticeable. Honestly, I have to say I prefer the HFCS Coke to kosher Coke, but that’s probably because I’m so used to the HFCS sweetener. I don’t normally drink non-diet sodas, but this is a fun little exercise to do each year…for me, at least.

While out searching for Kosher Coke and Pepsi, I did come across a new soda flavor that I think was just released on Monday. It’s called Sierra Mist Undercover Orange and it’s a promotional flavor for the movie Get Smart starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. Check it out:

Sierra Mist Undercover Orange

I also found the Sierra Mist Free Undercover Orange flavor. They are both pretty good. The orange flavor is very subtle. Almost as part of the aftertaste. Not bad. Not as good as Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, but still good.

So it’s time to get on the stick, people! Get out there and get your kosher Coke and Pepsi before Passover is…well, over. And be on the lookout for Sierra Mist Undercover Orange, it’s worth a try!

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Pet Peevin': Stuff that drives me nuts

Posted in Coca Cola, Pepsi, pet peeves, random, soda with tags , , , on September 6, 2007 by Paxton

Drive Me NutsI missed last week, and I’m sorry. I was sick Thursday and Friday, then the long weekend with the Auburn game (WAR EAGLE, 1-0, BABY!!) led me to being lazy and not posting anything. My bad. Can’t say it won’t happen again as I’m notoriously lazy, but que sera sera.

However, the article you see before you is what I was going to post last week, but I never finished it. It’s about a few things that I’ve been thinking about that drive me crazy or really irritate me….some “pet peeves”, if you will (and I know you will). Maybe you have the same ones, maybe not. I’m just saying these things drive me up the f’n wall, my friends. I’m pretty sure a few of them are ones that not many other people have, but I thought I’d share them anyway. If you do any of these, I’m sorry in advance…but I hate you. Enjoy!

Shopping CartPeople not returning their carts to the cart corral. OMG this absolutely drives me nuts. Supermarkets, Wal-Mart, Target, you name it, and people will leave their carts in the middle of a parking spot. I’ve actually returned 5 or 6 abandoned carts to the corral before even walking into the store. I’ve seen abandoned carts in parking spots that actually sit RIGHT NEXT to the cart corral. That’s just f’n lazy, people. God forbid you walk your cart 10-15 ft to the nearest cart corral. Yes, I have been in the situation where the nearest cart return is on another aisle (usually when you park close to the front of the store). In that case, I take the cart back to the store. It’s a cop-out to say they have people to put the carts away. Yeah, nevermind the fact that it makes the parking lot an obstacle course when you are trying to park with all of these abandoned shopping carts littering the landscape like dead bodies. RETURN YOUR CARTS PEOPLE!!!

concession standLeaving your movie seat looking like a popcorn/soda bomb exploded. Goes along with the first one. It’s a cop-out to say they have people to clean it up. How hard is it to take the leftover bag and cup and drop it in the trashcan on the way out of the movie? I’m not saying you have to sweep up, but damn, people, throw away your trash.

I was in Taco Bell the other day (that itch you have to scratch every once in a while) and this lady came in carrying her 4 or 5 year old son by the waist. Not only was she carrying him by the waist, but the kid had no shirt or shoes on. I’m sitting there trying to eat my taco-y lunch and this kid starts running around half naked. I don’t know about you, but that completely spoils my appetite. WTF?! Lady, this ain’t your living room, dress your kids!!!

If you read this blog, you know I love sodas. Well, the next few have to do mainly with sodas.

Coke vs PepsiWhy when you go to restaurants can you only get Coke or Pepsi? When you order a beer, can you only get Budweiser? How about wine? Can you only buy Robert Mondavi’s labels? It’s absurd. I’m mainly a Pepsi drinker, so when I go to a restaurant and they only have Coke products, I’m screwed. The only Coke drink I like is Coke Zero, which is usually never available (another pet peeve). And the only diet drink they usually offer is Diet Coke, which I hate with a fiery passion. For me, it’s really hard to justify the 150 calories you’ll be drinking if you get regular non-diet sodas. Why must soda companies divide their markets like this? It’s so unbelievably frustrating. This also happens in fast food joints and movie theaters. It’s either Coke or Pepsi, but never both. WHY?!

Coke SelectionsThe lack of diet soda options in soda machines and/or restaurants. I prefer mostly Diet Pepsi, Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Dr. Pepper. If I’m lucky, I can get one of these, rarely two, but NEVER all three. And if the place only sells Coke, my choice is Diet Coke and that’s it. I HATE DIET COKE. The soda machines here at work have Coke and Pepsi. My diet options? Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. There are at least 20 soda options between the Coke and Pepsi machine and I have TWO diet options. WTF?! That’s right, I get no Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Dr Pepper, Sprite Zero or Coke Zero? If I want those, I’m SOL. Do people really drink that much full strength Pepsi and Coke products? Yikes. I go to Subway right by work for lunch. Subway is a fairly good, healthy place (in comparison to others) and they offer only Diet Coke as a diet soda option. Every once in a while, they stock Sprite Zero 20oz bottles in the cooler, but you pay extra for that. Hell, I would pay extra for a Coke Zero, but they don’t even stock THAT!! The fountain? Diet Coke only. That’s just sorry, and it drives me bananas.

Coke ZeroCoke Zero. I really like Coke Zero. However, why doesn’t Coke offer it anywhere? Restaurants and movie theaters that carry Coke have yet to stock Coke Zero in the fountain (a few have, but not many) and most soda machines do not have it. Steph and I went to the movies Monday afternoon and saw an ad for Coke Zero before the movie. Intersting considering AMC does not serve Coke Zero. I personally think Diet Coke should be retired and fed to the dogs and Coke Zero should replace it……for good. But that’s just me. Coke, you have these great ads for Coke Zero, how about offering it up at more places than the local gas station?

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I’m back…

Posted in Coca Cola, personal, reviews, soda with tags , on May 22, 2007 by Paxton

I’m Back!Well, I had to take a forced sabbatical last week. Work is just one giant inconvenience. We are in the middle of this giant project so time is (and will continue to be) scarce until the end of the year. I will do my absolute best to keep things updated here.

Part of the problem was that I had nothing prepared. Normally, on any given day I have 3 or 4 articles in various states of completeness. When time gets tight, I can just finish off an almost completed article and voila, an entry. This past week I have like 10 titles of articles, but nothing else. So I had no time to complete anything. I’ve worked on a few though, and I’m building back up my buffer. Things should be back to normal for a bit. I promise.

Anywho, just dropping you a note to let you know that a real article is coming….probably tomorrow. The bulk is written, I just need to procure images and do some copy editing. I’ve been in a cartoon kick lately, so I’m probably going to have a few articles based on cartoons. And some movie reviews. I haven’t done one of those in a while so I’m going to remedy that situation.

Before I go, I wanted to mention ANOTHER new soda I came across the other day. I had no idea this one was coming out so it was a surprise to find it in my local market. Say hello to my little friend: Coke Vanilla Zero

Coke Vanilla Zero

Steph and I were shopping for our weekly groceries and we passed an end cap of this and I did a double take. Coke had just released Coke Zero Cherry so I was really surprised to see them release another flavor extension so quickly. Well, I grabbed a 20oz bottle and tried it. Not bad. Not bad at all. I really like the vanilla flavoring they use with this. It matches very well with the Coke Zero. I enjoyed the entire bottle. I will definitely drink this again. Very, very good. It reminds me (as it’s supposed to) of a Coke float with vanilla ice-cream. Coke has been bringing it with its flavors lately while my boy, Pepsi, has been screwing the pooch (I’m looking at you, Pepsi Summer Mix).

Well played, Coke. Well played.

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Diet Coke Plus: Vitamin pills are for water-drinkers!!

Posted in Coca Cola, reviews, soda with tags , , on April 18, 2007 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Are you taking vitamin supplements once a day? That’s just plain crazy. Do you wish that you could drink in not only your daily caffeine intake, but your vitamin/mineral supplements as well? Well the soda genie has decided to grant you this wish. Now you can get caffeine and vitamins (and minerals!) through one handy, liquid-y vehicle: Diet Coke Plus (DC+, click picture to left for larger image).

Diet Coke Plus

With this new soda, there’s no need to watch what you eat. Screw salads, weight watchers, even vegetables. Drink DC+, you’ll get all the vitamins and minerals your body craves, PLUS caffeine and sodium. IT’S THAT EASY. Thanks, Coca-Cola, Inc!!!

I just found this beauty at Wal-Mart today. I’d heard about it, but didn’t realize it had been released. Brilliant idea don’t you think (Hello, my name is sarcasm)? I’m not sure I get it, but be prepared because Coke and Pepsi are going to be releasing many new flavors (or remixes of existing flavors) in the coming months. Coke just released Diet Coke Plus and Vault Red Blitz (see next article). Pepsi will be releasing Diet Pepsi Max this summer and a special Halo 3 version of Mountain Dew in August. Pepsi also released in limited markets a new Diet Pepsi Jazz flavor, Caramel & Cream. This makes for an interesting summer, for me at least as I love new soda flavors.

Anway, the taste of DC+ is sweeter than regular Diet Coke. The sweetener used in DC+ is actually a mixture of the sweeteners they use in regular Diet Coke and Coke Zero. So the taste is somewhat in between Coke Zero and Diet Coke. This is to say that it’s better than regular Diet Coke (which I hate), but not as good as Coke Zero (which I really like).

And hey, you are also getting some vitamins and minerals to boot, so it’s all win-win baby. WIN-WIN. Drink up.

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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part III

Posted in Coca Cola, Death By Taurine, humor, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on April 16, 2007 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Checking the traffic stats of my blog I noticed that the energy drink reviews I wrote last year have become moderately popular (by moderately, I mean two or three people OTHER than my mother have read them). Since I wrote those articles, a few new energy drinks have popped up in stores so I thought I would take a crack at reviewing this new group of drinks.

If you missed the first two groups of reviews:
Click here for Death by Taurine Part I
Click here for Death by Taurine Part II

Now that those formalities are over with, let’s take a look at 5 new energy drinks and see if they are the real deal, or if they should be tossed into the landfill along with that giant pile of Atari E.T. game cartridges. Let’s find out.

Vault Red BlitzVault Red Blitz – I reviewed Vault and Sugar-Free Vault (now called Vault Zero) in Part II of Death By Taurine. In short, it’s a very sweet tasting Citrus soda with no energy kick. I was pretty harsh to Vault originally, but I’ve grown to enjoy Vault Zero a little more lately. Despite the confusing marketing as a “hybrid energy soda”, I stand by the opinion that Vault is rockin’ no energy boost whatsoever. Despite this, Vault must be selling fairly well because Coke just released the “berry-infused” Red Blitz. “Berry Infused”?! Could we be a little less specific? What kind of berry? Raspberry? Cherry? Boysenberry? Snosberry? WHAT?! Well, I think it’s cherry, but it’s hard to tell because the berry flavor is actually just as generic as the moniker. The generic berry flavor is good mixed with Vault’s base citrus flavor, but once again, Vault didn’t get the memo that energy sodas are supposed to give you a boost. I’m also sad that there is no Vault Zero Red Blitz, but I hope they release one soon because I would drink it. Energy Fiend says it would take 195 cans of Vault to kill me.

Enviga – Like many things Coke related (see Vault), this drink has had a huge marketing campaign. A lot of it extolling the virtues of it’s calorie burning properties. Yes, according to Coke, the green tea extract and other herbal ingredients cause you to burn more calories digesting the drink than the drink contains, thereby creating a negative calorie situation. This is, of course, absurd, so Coke is in a little controversy right now about false advertising. All that aside, the drink is only okay. The AMC theaters my wife and I go to give these out for free if you are a MovieWatcher member and buy a combo. So I’ve tried the Green Tea and Berry flavors for free. I actually bought the Peach version but had to give myself a V-8 slap in the forehead after tasting it because it was sweeter and not as good as the other too. All three, though, are almost too sweet and sugary for my taste, but if Jack Bauer had me tied to a chair and was threatening to kill my wife and shoot me in the kneecap if I didn’t pick one, then I’d say Berry is better. Give them a try, if you don’t like them throw back a Coolah instead (see review below). Energy Fiend says it would take 136.5 cans of Enviga to kill me.

Full Throttle Blue Demon – I reviewed Full Throttle in Death by Taurine Part II. I said it is my favorite tasting energy drink, but there is no energy kick whatsoever. Well, Coke released a Blue Agave flavored Full Throttle aimed at the Hispanic market recently so I decided to try it. This flavor is apparently named after a famous Mexican wrestler called Blue Demon, and the blue agave flavor is very popular south of the border. It definitely tastes different than original Full Throttle. The taste is closer to the SoBe energy drink I reviewed in Death by Taurine Part I. It’s a more fruity and less Mt Dew taste. I honestly didn’t really like it. Reminded me too much of the SoBe debacle, although I was able to finish this can whereas I was not able to finish the SoBe can. Again, like it’s Full Throttle brethren, Blue Demon forgot to stand in line when they were passing out energy boosts in Soda Heaven so it comes to the table without one. It’s like Coke is “waving its private parts” in the general direction of the energy drink market. Release versions of their regular soda with a little more caffeine and call it a day. Well I say “Nuts to you, Coke!” Energy Fiend says it would take 96.81 cans of Full Throttle to kill me.

Mountain Dew AMP – You may see the Mountain Dew logo on the can and ask yourself, “what is the difference between Amp and MDX?” Yourself probably won’t have an answer. But my answer is, “one is an energy drink and one is an energy soda.” WTF does that mean?! I don’t know, Coke started this whole “energy soda” business with Vault. It’s just Coke and Pepsi trying to create new crap out of old crap for us to buy like the good little consumers we are. So…..I bought it. Regardless of the shoddy marketing, Amp tastes very similar to Full Throttle and has the same missing energy boost. The name says it all, it’s an amped up Mountain Dew (caffeine-wise). Also, Amp recently, like Vault, got a flavor extention called Amp Overdrive. It’s a cherry flavored version, much like Red Blitz. I think I like Amp Overdrive better than the original Amp, but not as much as Vault Red Blitz. I did get a noticeable energy kick from drinking the Amp Overdrive, but it may be because I drank the “Big Rig” can which holds double the normal amount of drink. Does the world really need a “Big Rig” of Amp Overdrive? I mean, really? They should change the name from Big Rig to “The Urine-ator”. It gave me the longest pee ever. Seriously, it was like the perfect storm. Unbelievable. But I digress. I had the Amp Overdrive at 8am and I was still buzzing by bedtime. That’s some serious energy kickage. There is no sugar free Amp, so you are drinking over 200 calories with each can. A good choice if you don’t mind the extra calories. Energy Fiend says it would take 182 cans of Mt Dew Amp to kill me.

Coolah – Coolah is an Australian energy drink (CRIKEY!!) based on another drink called Solo. Hey Australia, why hasn’t there been a Crocodile Dundee energy drink, or a Crocodile Hunter energy drink? WHY?! The world is begging for them!! NOW!! Anywho, Coolah has a surprisingly mild, lemony taste. In fact, it’s taste is extremely similar to Sprite, with a little extra lemon flavor. It’s very good. Unfortunately it comes in the newer 16oz cans with which I have a little trouble finishing (much like the “Big Rig” above). Who really needs this much energy drink? You could wake the dead with cans of this size. It’s crazy. With regular soda you only get 12oz in a can, but with energy drinks that have twice the caffeine, sugar and taurine (and, sometimes, calories), you get an extra 4oz. Why? It’s ludicrous…and I don’t mean the rapper. The energy kick is pretty bitchin’ too. Wow, it’s like I’m sitting in a wind tunnel, but I’m actually just at my desk. This is one of the nicest buzzes I’ve had in a while (legally, of course, haha). That energy high lasted until bedtime, too, with very little energy crash. This may take the crown as my new favorite energy drink. So grab a can of this magic elixir and enjoy the ride, bro. Energy Fiend says it would take 91 cans of Coolah to kill me.

Updated!! Death By Taurine Part IV now online!

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Coke gets its Kosher on!

Posted in Coca Cola, holiday, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , on March 27, 2007 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Ahh, it’s good to be back in the good ole US of A. I’ll regale you with tales from my trip to Paris another time (I’m writing an article about it). Today, however, I wanted to enlighten you about the Jewish holiday of Passover. Actually, I wanted to discuss a curious phenomenon that happens around Passover every year.

Passover

As everyone knows, Passover commemorates the Exodus and freedom of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. But Pax, how does this pertain to Coca-Cola? Patience, grasshopper, all will be revealed in due time. During passover, the only grain product that can be owned or eaten is one in which flour and water have not combined for more than 18-22 minutes. Due to this restriction, Jewish people can’t drink the sweetener used in non-diet sodas; High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Coke and other soft drink companies started switching over to this sweetener in the late ’70s/early ’80s as an alternative to beet or cane sugar due to sky rocketing sugar prices. This move still angers many soda enthusiasts as the taste is no longer the same as the drink’s inventors had wanted.

Coke LogoSo, during Passover, Coke began to notice the dip in sales during the months around the Jewish holiday. It obviously was a significant enough dip that Coke had to do something about it. In order to hold onto its important Jewish sales during Passover, Coke produces batches of its soda with sucrose (beet sugar and/or cane sugar) much like it did before the big switch to HFCS and the whole manufacturing process is lorded over by a Jewish representive. To soda enthusiasts, this means that Coke, Pepsi and Sprite, during the month of Passover, are available sweetened with pure sugar to those who go looking for it. And it can be a difficult search as the switch is not nationwide and centers mostly on large Jewish communities. This makes the few weeks before and the few weeks after Passover a large, geeky scavenger hunt for soda enthusiasts.

Cane SugarSo, how do you find it? Coke Classic, Sprite and Pepsi will have the largest showing. You supposedly can also find some of Dr. Brown’s sodas with cane sugar in them (I’d love to find a Black Cherry). 2 Liters of kosher soda will have yellow caps on them with Hebrew writing and a P stamped on the cap top. Cans, which are much harder to find, will have the Hebrew stamp on the bottom. Big cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco will have lots of it. Smaller towns will be harder to find unless you have a Jewish grocery somewhere near you. Passover this year begins on the morning of April 2 and lasts the whole week.

I’ll be on the lookout for it, will you?

UPDATE: After writing this article I went to the local supermarket and I found Kosher Coke.
Here are the pics:

Kosher Coke1Kosher Coke2

Notice the bright yellow cap. I don’t think you can see the Passover Hebrew stamp on top, but it’s there. I wasn’t able to find any Pepsi or Sprite, but I’ll try other places. Keep looking, it’s out there.

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Misunderstood: The Saga of New Coke Part III

Posted in Coca Cola, food, New Coke, nostalgia, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2006 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Happy Monday, people! Before I present to you the final engrossing chapter of New Coke, I thought I’d pass along a fun little news article about fried Coke (pictured left). Apparently an enterprising man by the name of Abel Gonzales, Jr. created a recipe that uses Coca-Cola syrup mixed into a funnel cake batter that’s deep fried and served with syrup and cherries on top. Wow. Nice. My wife and I always talk about how, in the South, they fry everything, including the Iced Tea. Maybe we should amend that to Coke? A completely Southern idea, fried Coke brings us one step closer to this. Consider me in love.

Anywho, on to the matter at hand. If you missed Part I or Part II of this article just click the appropriate link. Otherwise continue reading and see the exciting conclusion to the New Coke story.

After the fallout from New Coke’s disastrous introduction, Coke had a big problem. How do they market two Cokes? Coke Classic didn’t need any marketing as the brand now sold itself, but what about New Coke? It could no longer use the slogan “The Best Just Got Better”, so, what to do? Coke decided to market New Coke to their lowest performing demographic, kids and teens. Ads for Coke included Max Headroom in fast talking commercials berating Pepsi for lack of originality. These ads did fairly well and were well recognized, but sales of New Coke couldn’t recover from the beating the drink got over the summer. The writing was on the wall for New Coke.

In 1992, New Coke was re-branded Coke II in hopes that it might refresh interest. It didn’t and by 2002, the drink was pretty much eliminated from all but the smallest markets. Supposedly, Coke II can still be found in stores and vending machines in smaller markets like Micronesia and American Samoa. Though New Coke is considered near dead, it will never truly die. CEO Goizueta still preferred New Coke so he continued to have it produced for his own consumption until right before his death. You only have to mention New Coke to somebody and they immediately know what you are talking about. It’s not just a drink anymore, New Coke refers to a mistake so disastrous, one may never recover. It’s part of the pop culture lexicon.

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