The complexities of the evil that is Coke (and I don't mean the snorty type)

by Suw on July 16, 2005

You would, upon first glance, imagine that soft drinks are simple. You make them, bottle them sell them and hopeful at some point someone drinks them.
Not so.
I'm no Coca-Cola aficionado, but I do know that Coke comes in many grades. In the UK, as I understand it, there are three: syrup that's mixed with carbonated water to give you pub Coke; the stuff that's found in large bottles; and canned Coke. The syrup is the worst, the canned is the best.
Over and above this, in London, you can get Coke from a whole host of different countries – Poland, France, and places whose script looks Arabic to me but I couldn't narrow it down any further than that. Some of these regional cokes taste slightly, almost imperceptibly, different to English Coke. Not so much as it would stop me drinking them, though.
But the first time I drank Coke in the US, I discovered it tasted very different. During my last three week trip to San Francisco I discovered that I couldn't finish even a can of Coke, and the reason is that they use corn syrup and we don't. To me, it tasted too sweet, too thick and it sat in my stomach like barium meal.
Then my friend Dan told me that the highest quality Coke in the US is the Coke that comes in glass bottles. He's right. It is drinkable, whereas the canned stuff just is not.
This morning, I popped out to the little Irish shop just down the road from here, where they sell English chocolate amongst other European delights. (Not to mention a shed load of vodka!) My favourite shop in San Francisco. From there, I purchased breakfast, including a glass bottle of Coke. Imagine my delight, as a former Coke-addict, to discover upon getting home that this was Spanish coke. Sucrose!! Not high-fructose corn syrup! Real Coke! (Is that like Real Madrid?)
Oh, my tastebuds are loving me right now. All that sucrose and caffeine and phosphoric acid, coursing through my veins, so beautifully evil and addictive. How dost I love thee, European Coke, how dost I delight in thee. Thou art magnificence in liquid form!
Note: I still maintain that Coke is evil, vile stuff that rots your innards and dissolves your teeth which I am perpetually attempting to purge from my life completely. As you may be able to discern, if you are very clever and read carefully between the lines, I am not having too much luck in this department. Willpower, where art thou?

Anonymous July 16, 2005 at 8:45 pm

There is a great bit in Dave Gorman's Googlewack Adventure were he ends up driving to Mexico with a Texan (I think) because he's the money to go there and stock up on none-corn syrup coke. He fills up his truck with the stuff so he doesn't have to drink the US kind. Dave tells it much funnier than I have.

Anonymous July 17, 2005 at 2:15 am

The best soda in the U.S. is the stuff that comes from small boutique labels like Jones Soda and Boylan's. Much like how the only drinkable beer here comes from microbreweries.

Anonymous July 17, 2005 at 6:47 pm

Coke is evil, vile stuff that you should not let inside you. It contains the same acid used to remove rust from cars. (If you don't believe me, go into Halfords and have a look. I've used old coke several times to loosen up bolts on engines) and has been recently linked to osteoporosis.
My sister used to drink tons of the stuff. It says something that she has narrowly survived colitis. Of course, I wouldn't dream of claiming that coke caused colitis, but if you stick half-a-litre of the same acid used to clean rust off engines through your intestines every day for 15 years, it's hardly a surprising outcome, is it?

Anonymous July 17, 2005 at 6:49 pm

The red mist has just cleared and I noticed the “Snorty” reference.
Nah, didn't think so.

Anonymous October 7, 2005 at 7:49 pm

Love is two people sipping Coca Cola from the same straw on a warm sunny day.

Anonymous November 18, 2006 at 4:29 am

Coke is Canadian, you genius.

Anonymous November 18, 2006 at 10:32 am

Er afraid not.
“In May, 1886, Coca Cola was invented by Doctor John Pemberton a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia. John Pemberton concocted the Coca Cola formula in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard.”
Last time I looked, Atlanta Georgia wasn't in Canada, and it's still where their headquarters are.
You know, there's this thing called “google” and it helps you check your facts.

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