It’s universally acknowledged by all sensible people that spirits are, almost entirely, disgusting. As anyone who’s spent any time desperately trying to chug Smirnoff in order to prepare for a night on the town will tell you, having a bottle of Coke handy can make all the difference between seeing off a vodka and throwing up into the sink. It might not look mature, but adding something to disguise the taste of cheap liquor is an absolute necessity in most social situations.
Though non-traditional mixers certainly help take the edge off, it is an inescapable fact that most aren’t really fit for purpose. A rum and Coca-Cola will only get you so far, before the sickly sweetness makes you feel like your teeth are about to fall out and your insides have turned to maple syrup. We have always had to make do with compromise, as there is little else that can do the job. That, however, could be about to change.
In exciting news for childish palates everywhere, Coca-Cola have just released a new four flavour range of brand new soft drinks, specifically designed for mixing with spirits. Unlike traditional Coca-Cola variations, these new creations have been variously christened “Smoky”, “Spicy”, “Herbal” and “Woody” and are supposed to enhance premium dark spirits such as rum and whisky. Pre-drinks could be about to get a whole lot more enjoyable.
In order to come up with the concept, the brand challenged expert mixologists from all over the world to create flavours that would enhance anything they were paired with, whilst remaining true to the soft drink’s original roots. Experiments were carried out with over 200 different ingredients, before four formulae were finally settled upon. As a mark of this laborious process, each of the new flavours comes marked with the signature of the bartender who created it and is encased in a bottle reminiscent of Dr Pemberton’s original 1886 Coca-Cola soda fountain design. Each bottle is also inscribed with a checklist of flavours and ingredients that should be detectable, allowing customers to carefully and precisely pair their mixers and spirits.
As part of a press release accompanying the announcement, Ana Amura, Senior Brand Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain, revealed that, “Coca-Cola has always had a synergy with dark spirits and classic cocktails, from the inception of the iconic Cuba Libre in the late 1900s to the popular Whiskey & Coke in the early 20th century. With the rise of mixed drinks, we're excited to announce the launch of Coca-Cola Signature Mixers, a specific range uniquely created to mix with dark spirits. Working with an inspirational group of global mixologists to create amazing flavour combinations, we hope Coca-Cola Signature Mixers open up the world of mixology to an even wider audience."
To some people, the idea of ruining a 12-year-old Laphroaig with a dash of cola is tantamount to blowing your nose in the Pope’s face. However, for those of us who aren’t so snobby, this new release could spell the start of some very exciting times for drink mixing. Stand aside, rum and Coke. We may well be entering a golden era for weird concoctions.