REVIEW: Mtn Dew Star Spangled Splash, Freedom Fusion, and Liberty Chill

Do the Dew in red, white, and blue! Woo hoo! Although one isn’t really new. Get into the Fourth of July groove!

According to their cans, Mtn Dew Star Spangled Splash (red) is a Dew with a blast of red berry, while Freedom Fusion (white) has peach and lemonade flavors, and Liberty Chill (blue) is a combination of 50 flavors. If you have an encyclopeDEWia of Dew knowledge in your head, that last one might seem familiar to you, and it should be because it’s the same description as the equally patriotic-named Liberty Brew. I get the feeling that the name change was brought upon because some folks might think with “brew” in its name, it might have alcohol since Mtn Dew has gotten into the adult beverage game.

Let’s start with Liberty Chill and its 50 flavors, which I assume represent the 50 states. If Puerto Rico and/or Washington DC become states someday, we can look forward to Dews with 51 or 52 flavors. From what I’ve read, this is just a renamed Liberty Brew. I don’t remember drinking it, but we did review it when it came out in 2019. It comes in a color that makes me want to feed it cookies and then remind it that cookies are a sometimes food. And all those 50 flavors amount to a soda that reminds me of blue raspberry with a floral finish. It’s a pleasant soda I wouldn’t mind tasting and feeding cookies to every summer.

Star Spangled Splash has a familiar Dew taste. It smells like fruit punch, and it kind of reminds me of fruit punch. There’s a noticeable cherry flavor, which Mtn Dew uses in a couple of its most popular varieties — Code Red and Game Fuel Citrus Cherry. But I also notice some strawberry, which needs to be in more Mtn Dew releases. Maybe my mind is taking the “red berry” thing a bit far. Overall, it’s good, but it isn’t really a unique-tasting Dew. If you like the other red flavors I mentioned in this paragraph, then I imagine you’ll like this.

Finally, we have my favorite of the bunch — Freedom Fusion. The Dew rumor mill (DEWmor Mill?) said there was supposed to be a peach-flavored Dew exclusively at Wawa earlier this year, but that was scrapped. Instead, the entire country gets to enjoy this peach and lemonade Dew. I’m not sure I taste the lemonade, but I do taste the peach, which reminds me of other peach drinks I’ve had. It even has a pleasant peach aroma without a hint of lemonade. There’s a slight sourness, but lemonade doesn’t come to mind when I drink this, even though it totally looks like the sugary, citrusy beverage.

If the idea of drinking 36 cans of Mtn Dew to get all three flavors is daunting, they’re also available in 20-ounce bottles. All of them are good to great and tasty beverages to help keep you cool this summer.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12 oz cans
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Star Spangled Splash), 7 out of 10 (Liberty Chill), 8 out of 10 (Freedom Fusion)
Nutrition Facts: (12 ounces) Star Spangled Splash – 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 43 grams of sugar (including 43 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 54 milligrams of caffeine. Freedom Fusion – 170 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 43 grams of sugar (including 43 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 54 milligrams of caffeine. Liberty Chill – 170 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 46 grams of sugar (including 46 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 56 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Pepsi Peach

I think I’ve said it before on this website, but I’ll repeat it for those who don’t meticulously consume each of my reviews like the delightfully greasy bacon-double cheeseburgers of words that they are: I love flavored Coke. And by “Coke,” I mean, soda, and by “flavored,” I mean, well, you know… something other than the soda’s normal base.

But I don’t discriminate by soda type. I love the Strawberries and Cream Dr Pepper, as well as the Cream Soda version. I like Sprite when it gets weird with Cherries or Cranberries. Cherry Vanilla Coke is incredible, and I still lament the fact that poor sales (maybe?) killed its Orange Vanilla brethren. And Mango Pepsi is the best Pepsi.

And so it was with great anticipation and arousal that I awaited the appearance of Pepsi Peach at a retailer near me. I was so excited, in fact, that when I finally spotted it at my local QuikTrip, I went ahead and got it EVEN THOUGH they didn’t have the zero sugar version, which, in the case of all the aforementioned sodas, is generally my go-to.

Was it everything I hoped for?

Sadly, it was not.

If you don’t want to read a lengthy explanation, just know this: if you blindfolded me and had me drink this, I’d be extremely hard-pressed to tell you what soda flavor this was. The end.

But I’ll go a little further if you’re into details. The scent you get when opening the bottle is very identifiably peach, which makes the absence of actual peach flavoring all the more puzzling. I took a drink— riding high on hope and scent— and then went, “Wait, what?” But the thing is, this doesn’t taste like straight-up Pepsi, either. It’s Pepsi, but it’s a little sweeter than usual, and there’s a unique aftertaste that sets it apart as well. But at no point in the consumption process did I think, “Mmmm, peachy!” It was just mildly fruity.

And that’s a shame, really, given the way they do a great job capturing mango flavor. I was expecting so much more.

While it’s not bad, per se, it’s also not what it’s supposed to be. If it had been marketed as “General Fruit Pepsi,” it would have made so much more sense. I’d buy it again, I guess, if I was ever in a situation where I couldn’t find Mango Pepsi. Or Strawberries and Cream Dr Pepper. Or Cherry Vanilla Coke. Or… you get the idea.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Size: 20 oz
Purchased at: Quiktrip
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 68 grams of sugar (including 68 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Chill

Have you ever enjoyed a nice cold soda and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is great, but if only there was a way to make it seem ever so slightly cooler?” I haven’t, or if I have, I probably just reached for some ice. If you lack access to anything frozen and are still searching for something to give you a cold boost, perhaps Sprite Chill is for you.

Billing itself as the “coldest-est” yet, this Cherry-Lime spin on Sprite claims to be the first soft drink to utilize a cooling sensation without also having a mint flavor (I guess this means Coca-Cola Starlight’s cooling trick used mint?) and the feeling is meant to intensify as you continue to drink it. The idea of a mint-less cooling effect sounds neat, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love a good food gimmick, but I was even more interested in the Cherry-Lime flavor. With visions of icy cool cherry limeade in mind, I dove into my fridge-cold bottle.

To fit the chill theme, the drink itself has been given a frosty appearance. More opaque than a typical Sprite, it looks the part of something glacial. The cherry is noticeable in the first sniff and sip, but it’s certainly subtle. I’m relieved not to get a medicinal vibe, but I wish there was more oomph. Sprite already starts with a lemon-lime flavor, so I expected the cherry-lime would boost the lime and also bring a stronger cherry taste. The cooling sensation wasn’t immediately obvious to me, and instead of being extra refreshing, I felt like I was drinking a somewhat muted Sprite with a few cherries sitting in it for a while. You would think that whatever provides the cooling sensation would be more immediately refreshing, but I think this rendition almost lacks some of the crispness of original Sprite.

No longer married to gum and toothpaste, this “cooling” has recently shown up in several products and the consensus seems to be that it isn’t a very strong effect. I can notice it in Sprite Chill, but much like the cherry flavor, it’s subtle. If the press release is to be believed, the sensation should build as I keep drinking, but I don’t think it ever truly reaches a level beyond “I guess this is kind of tingly.” There’s a bit of that feeling you’d get from a menthol cough drop, minus the taste, but I don’t know if I’d even have this observation if I wasn’t actively looking for it. I like this soda, but I find it so unremarkable that I’m not sure why anyone bothered to make it. There isn’t enough cherry or lime to really make it stand out, and the chilling gimmick it relies on isn’t especially detectable. This Sprite isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t thrill or really chill me.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 20 fl oz
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle regular) 240 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of total carbs, 64 grams of total sugars (incl. 64 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dr Pepper Creamy Coconut

I find it very strange that the new Dr Pepper Creamy Coconut comes on the heels of the release of Nestle Coffee mate’s Coconut Lime Dirty Soda Creamer, a product designed to be mixed with Dr Pepper. Why would Nestle Coffee mate agree to develop a product that transforms a regular Dr Pepper into a coconut-flavored one when an actual coconut-flavored Dr Pepper would be hitting shelves soon after?

Like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop and why Oreo puts out a cookies & cream variety, the world may never know.

As someone who has tried the creamer with a Dr Pepper, my taste buds had a good idea of what to expect when tasting the limited edition soda. Not surprisingly, they’re similar. Both have a bold coconut flavor with a mild taste of Dr Pepper. I imagine, for some, the coconut flavoring might be a bit too strong, bringing perhaps sunscreen to the forefront, but I didn’t mind the intensity. And that tropical flavor did have a creamy taste to it. I didn’t love it as much as I did last year’s Strawberries & Cream variety, but I still found it to be enjoyable.

While it had a creamy flavor, I didn’t notice a creamy texture. The only way this soda could have that is if something is added to it, like, I dunno, sweet cream or…Oh, Nestle Coffee mate’s Coconut Lime Dirty Soda Creamer. Well, that answers my question at the beginning of this review, and the world will know. I believe this is what they call “synergy” in business. But would adding the creamer make the soda better? Fortunately, I still had a bottle of the creamer in my fridge, so I could find out.

Combining the two turned a pretty good soda into a great one, and if you plan on buying a 12-pack of this, I’d highly recommend picking up a bottle of the creamer if you can get your hands on one. Adding it made Dr Pepper Creamy Coconut earn the “creamy” in its name. While adding more coconut flavoring made everything more coconutty, I could still taste the underlying Dr Pepper. What I didn’t notice was the lime in the creamer, but I didn’t care because everything else was delicious.

Dr Pepper Creamy Coconut is a tasty summer soda that shouldn’t be missed if coconut calls to you.

NOTE: There’s also zero sugar version.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12 fl oz cans
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 150 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 39 grams of sugar (including 39 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 41 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Nestle Coffee mate Coconut Lime Dirty Soda Creamer

Dr Pepper is a perfect blend of 23 flavors. So why would we want to muddy those with another two by pouring some of the new Nestle Coffee mate Coconut Lime Dirty Soda Creamer into it? Unless two of those 23 are coconut and lime, and the additive just enhances the two already existing flavors. And maybe if this sells well, then there will be another Dirty Soda variety that could be two more Dr Pepper flavors, and before you know it, we’ll have Dr Pepper’s secret recipe, and we can all make our own Dr (Insert Your Name Here).

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to combine regular refrigerated coffee creamers with soda, but if you haven’t, it can get very science fair volcano-y once the creamer comes into contact with the soda. Fortunately, messy eruptions didn’t happen with this. The Dirty Soda liquid just mixed itself with the soda without stirring up the carbonation. I understand why it’s called Dirty Soda, but if you think about it, the enhancer kind of “cleans” the soda, turning the dark Dr Pepper into something lighter. Maybe I feel this way because I’ve watched too many OxiClean infomercials.

The bottle suggests adding a tablespoon to get the perfect pop, but a tablespoon to what? There’s an image of a can on the bottle, but is that the 7.5 or 12 fl oz? I ended up combining a tablespoon with eight ounces of Dr Pepper, and it tasted very coconutty, a smidge limey, and not very Dr Peppery. It was also that way when I added a tablespoon to the 12 ounces left in the 20-ounce bottle I purchased. It’s enjoyable, but all it does is make the Dr Pepper taste like 20 of the 23 flavors in the recipe were muted. So, I wouldn’t say it tastes better or as good as the original. However, it’s a product that makes me want to buy more soda varieties to find out how they taste with it. Good job, Nestle Coffee mate, for encouraging me to buy more soda! I hope you get royalties or something.

While it doesn’t need to be refrigerated when unopened, it does after you open it. Also, like regular coffee creamers, it’s best to use it all within 14 days for optimal flavor.

If the Nestle Coffee mate Coconut Lime Dirty Soda Creamer interests you, you will not find it with all the refrigerated coffee creamers. You may find it with the dry and individual liquid Nestle Coffee mate products in the coffee and tea aisle. Or, you may find it at a random aisle end cap. Or, you may have to summon the courage to ask a store employee where in the haystack of this store is that needle known as the Nestle Coffee mate Coconut Lime Dirty Soda Creamer. That’s what I had to do at Target because it turns out that, while it says it’s “In Stock” on the app, there were none on the shelves. All of them were “in the back.” Oh, Target, you’re doing me dirty.

Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: 16 fl oz
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tbsp) 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar (including 5 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.