Sunday, November 4, 2012

DevLearn Bonus content: "Coca Cola: Taste Around the World"

This ridiculous bonus content is dedicated to my co-workers who enticed me to attempt this.

This is a tale of woe and pain. It is a cautionary tale that is not for the faint of heart. Learn from my mistakes so that you too will never feel the curse of "Taste Around the World".

Okay, I'm being melodramatic and silly, but this really is an opportunity for you to avoid the terrible mistake that I did: the mistake of trying to take on the Coca Cola Taste Around the World all on my own.

It all started with searching for things to do in Vegas while I attended DevLearn. Not traveling with anyone from work, and not knowing if I'd make any friends at the conference, I Googled "bizarre things to do in Vegas" to try and find something off the beaten track to check out on my own. When I saw that the Coca Cola store near my hotel had a drink platter that featured a number of unusual soft drinks from around the world, I knew I had found something I had to sample.

I had tried a smaller version of this at Epcot Center in Florida and I have an exceptionally high sugar tolerance, so I thought I could tackle this one by myself. I headed off to the store Thursday night, scampered up to the second floor, ordered my platter, and was presented with THIS:

Oh good god, what had I gotten myself into!

Soooooo.... yeah. Any normal person would have sensibly had a sip of each and called it a day. I'm clearly not a normal person, though, so I pulled out a pen, started downing the entire first cup, and began taking notes.

I'd say I got through the first tray before I started feeling a bit off, and that was with giving myself permission not to finish 2 of the drinks due to their intolerably bad taste. And yet, I kept on going. Why? An inherently stubborn and persistant personality I suppose. I'll also accept naiveté... or in-the-moment stupidity.

I continued and just barely survived. It takes a lot for sugar to make me ill, but this completely did me in. However, my mistake can save you since I took detailed notes about each drink. Learn from them and save yourself!

Tray 1 (the front tray in the photo)
1) Inca Kola from Peru
Smells like: Cream soda
Tastes like: Has a light, sweet flavour (much like the Kola Champagne pop that you can get here in Toronto).
Overall: I liked this very much

2) Sunfill Blackcurrant from Mauritius
Smells like: Blackcurrant! So yeah, this was well-named.
Tastes like: Soda water mixed with a splash of Ribena
Overall: Okay

3) Stoney Tangawizi from Tanzania
Smells like: Ginger beer
Tastes like: Slightly sweeter ginger beer
Overall: Good

4) Sprite Ice from Korea
Smells like: Nothing, oddly enough
Tastes like: A less-cloying Sprite. Did I mention I don't like Sprite?
Overall: Meh. Didn't finish drinking it.

5) Vegitabeta from Japan
Smells like: A bit like McDonald's orange drink
Tastes like: A bit like orange gatorade, but less citrusy. Not carbonated.
Overall: Great!

6) Sparletta Sparberry from Zimbabwe
Smells like: Cherry
Tastes like: Soda water mixed with cherry Nyquil
Overall: Meh. Didn't finish drinking it.

7) Smart Watermelon from China
Smells like: Melon
Tastes like: Melon Ramune
Overall: Yummy

8) Kinley Lemon from England
Smells like: A tiny bit like lemon
Tastes like: Slightly less bitter grapefruit pop
Overall: Quite tasty

Tray 2 (the back tray in the photo)
1) Lift Manzana from Mexico
Smells like: Caramel sweet
Tastes like: How it smells
Overall: Decent

2) Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica
Smells like: Cheap strawberry candy
Tastes like: A more cloying version of Inca Kola
Overall: Okay. Didn't finish drinking it.

3) Krest Ginger Ale from ??? (wasn't listed on the card)
Smells like: Weak ginger ale
Tastes like: Weak ginger ale
Overall: Decent

4) Ciel Aquarius from Mexico
Smells like: Apple juice
Tastes like: Cheap hot cider powder mix... but cold. Not carbonated.
Overall: Bad. Didn't finish drinking it.

5) Sunfill Mint from Djibouti
Smells like: Mint mouthwash
Tastes like: A liquid breath mint
Overall: Surprisingly not bad in the moment. May have been what made me so spectacularly ill later on.

6) Smart Apple from China
Smells like: Apple
Tastes like: Slightly sweeter sparkling cider
Overall: Good

7) Beverly from Italy
Smells like: A bit like Brio Chinotto
Overall: HORRID! Didn't finish drinking it.

8) Mezzo Mix from Germany
Smells like: A bit like tamarind
Tastes like: Too sweet! Nasty!
Overall: Horrid! Didn't finish drinking it.

So now you know what to try and what you should skip for the sake of your stomach. In general, I'd say do the platter with at least one friend and stay the heck away from the Beverly and Mezzo Mix.

The trip to the Coca Cola store wasn't a full loss at least. I did find this spiffy hat while I was there:

You're not fully dressed without a polar bear hat!


  1. Heavens! We looked at the platter - looked at each other - and decided that it possibly WASN'T going to be in our best interests. Obviously Canadians are made of much stronger stuff!

    (Or I just valued my life...)

    Oh and...*cue 5th Element reference* that's a very nice hat.


    1. We're not made of stronger stuff... maybe just crazier?! *laugh*

      It really was a poor life choice, but it made a great story.