REVIEW: Mountain Dew Zero Sugar

Mountain Dew Zero Sugar

What is Mountain Dew Zero Sugar?

PepsiCo has released Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, a new formulation with 0 calories and 0 sugar. Wait, what’s going on here? Isn’t there already Diet Mountain Dew?

Calorie and sugar-conscious consumers may have noticed some weirdness with the calorie counts for various sizes of Diet Mountain Dew. A 12-ounce can will have 0 calories, but larger serving sizes will have 5, or even 10 calories.

This is because the FDA requires companies to round to the nearest 5 calories, with anything below 5 calories per serving able to be stated as 0. If these calories and carbs have been a barrier from choosing PepsiCo’s citrus soda, this is the Dew for you.

How is it?

The question of Mountain Dew Zero Sugar isn’t how it compares to regular Mountain Dew, but how it stands next to Diet Dew. To test this, I poured a sample of each and carefully considered their attributes.

Mountain Dew Zero Sugar Comparison

The color is identical, though I detected a slightly sharper citrus scent in the Zero Sugar sample. I take a sip of each, being sure to aspirate the beverage and thereby allowing the aerosolized droplets to fully coat my palate. This reveals the samples to have very similar flavors. There’s a rounder flavor to the original Diet Dew, with Zero Sugar once again being a bit more acidic. I suspect the small amount of concentrated orange juice in the original formula accounts for this.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Mountain Dew Zero Sugar Closeup

My careful organoleptic analysis revealed some subtle differences that will be clear to the mindful drinker. The flaw here is that no one actually sips Mountain Dew. No, Mountain Dew is meant to be chugged while snowboarding down some sick powder, brah, or perhaps while pwning some n00bs in Call of Duty.

I would’ve liked to replicate those conditions, but I can’t snowboard and am terrible at competitive video games. Instead, I slammed down a glass of each while playing Death Stranding and as a snow plow added to the grey pile of slush in front of my driveway.

They taste the same.

Conclusion:

Mountain Dew Zero Sugar succeeds at removing an obstacle for calorie and sugar-conscious drinkers from Doing the Dew without sacrificing Diet Dew’s flavor.

Purchased Price: $2.68
Size: 16.9 oz (6 bottles)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10

Nutrition Facts: 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar

Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar and Zero Sugar Cherry

Like many dumb kids from the 80s, one of my favorite sodas – much to my parents’ chagrin – was the now-legendary Jolt Cola. Appearing infrequently and in different incarnations over the past few years — as chewing gum even, if I remember correctly – they’ve never been able to recapture that shaky soda feeling that was very much part of the whole experience.

Now, probably about twenty years too late, Coca-Cola is dropping its official entry into the energy drink movement with, of course, Coca-Cola Energy. Loaded with around 114 milligrams of caffeine — that’s comparable with a 12 oz. can of Red Bull, natch — the flavors not only come in original and cherry but in sugar and sugar-free options as well. Something for everyone!

Still, with all the caffeine I ingested over the past few hours, you bet your sweet ass I went with the sugar-free selections.

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar Closeup

Typically I’m more of a Diet Coke drinker than a Coke Zero fanboy, so it’s always a bit jolting — no pun intended — to have the close-to-original flavor of Coke coating my tongue once again with Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar. With none of the guarana aftertaste that sullies most energy drinks, the mixture of caffeine and b-vitamins is mostly undetectable.

But, sadly, they maybe were a little too undetectable. I was not feeling that rush of energy, that second-wind that sweeps through my person whenever I down a Sugar-Free Red Bull, for example. It was a bit disappointing. I almost feel like I could have had about two Diet Cokes with the same basic effect.

Coca Cola Energy Zero Sugar Cherry Closeup

I figured that with no change in my typical alertness, it was the perfect time to try the Zero Sugar Cherry, which has more of a bite than Cherry Coke Zero or Diet Cherry Coke. While this variation is definitely tastier than the regular Coca-Cola Energy Zero Sugar, a little still goes a long way and I had to quickly swig the last half down.

The energy drink has a cinnamon-like flair that reminds me of the recent holidays and Christmases of long ago, like a liquidly Dickens ghost. Sadly, this spectre is still not the kinetic wave I was promised. Instead, it’s an artificially-flavored energy letdown.

Maybe, like an addict who needs harsher, more dangerous drugs to get off, I’ve spent so much of my life downing these lightning bolts of fraudulent energy that these Coca-Cola products don’t work for me.

Regardless, I’m glad Coke slapped its name on these products and threw them on the shelves. But, you know, when it comes to name-brand sodas dipping their toes in this business, you still can’t go wrong with those Mountain Dew Game Fuel drinks.

Purchased Price: $1.79 each
Size: 12 fl. oz. cans
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10 (both)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Apple (Japan)

Coca Cola Apple  Japan

While we’re able to rot our teeth here in the States with Coca-Cola Cinnamon, those in Japan have been able to rot their teeth with Coca-Cola Apple. The fruity-flavored cola follows Coca-Cola Peach, which came out in Japan earlier this year.

Oooh, what would a Coca-Cola Cinnamon and Coca-Cola Apple mix taste like?

My friend Melissa picked up this bottle for me during her trip to Japan because I begged her to. She also tried it once she got back to her hotel and iMessaged me that she couldn’t taste any apple.

When I finally got the bottle of Coca-Cola Apple (and a bag of roasted chicken Lay’s she bought for me during her 2018 trip to France), I was expecting my taste buds to experience what hers did.

When I twisted off the cap and took a whiff, I could easily detect apple under the cola aroma. Then I took a sip. To be honest, I didn’t get any apple flavor with that first one. So after taking a second sip, I let the carbonated beverage sit in my mouth and swished it around like it was Coca-Listerine.

I imagine those of you in the dental field are screaming “NO” at your screen. But it was worth it because now I could notice the fruit with every sip. (I don’t know why that worked.) It tastes like a combination of Coca-Cola with more than a splash of apple juice. It’s mild, and I didn’t get it at first, so I can understand how my dear wonderful, smart, and beautiful friend who bought me this bottle and is probably reading this review, wasn’t able to notice it.

Now, I don’t know if this contains apple juice because I can’t read the ingredients list, despite many years of C’s in Japanese language classes. But it sure tastes like it does, which makes this cola quite pleasing to me.

But if you want to obtain an apple-flavored Coca-Cola the expensive way ($12-$15), you can do so by picking it up via eBay or from an online Japanese snack seller, like NapaJapan or J-List. Or you can pick it up the super expensive way, by flying to Japan.

Coca-Cola Apple is definitely not worth getting via the super expensive route, but, because it tastes like it has apple juice, it might be possible to recreate it at home, if you can figure out the right Coke-to-juice ratio. I think it’s an experiment worth trying.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 500 ml bottle
Purchased at: Somewhere in Japan
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 46 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 11.4 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of salt.

REVIEW: Mountain Dew Maui Burst

Mountain Dew Maui Burst

I’ve openly expressed my desire for a pineapple-flavored Mountain Dew for years to anyone who would listen and to stationary objects. I’ve thought about how it would look, smell, and taste. And I’ve dreamed about what would happen if that Dew became a reality. I imagined celebrating by slow dancing with a giant pineapple, squeezing it hard with so much joy that it explodes and makes it rain pineapple juice.

Well, I’m ready for my dance, giant pineapple! And that violent fruit dream is the reason why I don’t eat spicy pineapple salsa before going to sleep anymore.

Mountain Dew Maui Burst is currently an exclusive variety at Dollar General. Its can describes it as, “Dew with a blast of pineapple flavor. With other natural flavors.”

Mountain Dew Maui Burst Can Closeup

But before I get into how it tastes, I’m pretty sure many of you Dew Dew Heads, like myself, are wondering what kind of sweeteners are used. Well, I’m happy to report it’s good ol’ high fructose corn syrup, and that’s it. No sucralose. No acesulfame potassium. No stevia. No aspartame. No saccharin. No mogrosides. No beet sugar. No sugar alcohols. No cane sugar. Just H-F-C and S.

What I can detect with my nose and taste buds is that the pineapple is the star of the show, while the citrus Dew flavors take a backseat. Maui Burst’s flavor is like what I imagined it would be — a Mountain Dew that tastes like it’s been mixed with some pineapple juice. It’s simple, but I love it.

For me, it has easily jumped into my top five favorite Dew varieties of all time, which include Pitch Black, Code Red, and, of course, the original one. Also, I imagine this would go great with some Taco Bell.

Although I think it’s wonderful, I can see how some might feel the pineapple is a little too heavy-handed, like they’ve bear-hugged a giant pineapple while dancing with it, causing it to explode, and making it rain juice into their open mouths.

Mountain Dew Maui Burst Closeup

In my pre-Maui Burst dreams, I thought a pineapple Dew would be bright yellow. Fortunately, for Mtn Dew’s social media person, who would’ve been blasted with thousands of notifications with the word “pee” in them, it’s not. Instead, it’s a lighter shade of regular Mtn Dew.

Again, it’s a Dollar General exclusive, and, unfortunately, there are no Dollar General stores in Hawaii (hence the reason why I bought it on eBay). So folks on the island of Maui can’t get their hands on Mtn Dew Maui Burst, which is sad because it’s a great flavor.

Purchased Price: Too much on eBay
Size: 16 fl. oz. can
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16 fl. oz.) 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 75 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 59 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry

Limited Edition Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry

What is Limited Edition Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry?

Joy to the world! It’s officially cranberry soda season, with Sprite taking the lead with its unique Winter Spiced Cranberry, a mixture of the classic lemon-lime taste of Sprite with a twist of cranberry and spiced with other “natural flavors.” What those spices are, however, I’m not sure.

How is it?

The thing about the holidays I like the most are all the surprises soda companies have in store for us. Like a carbonated Santa, the Limited Edition Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry is definitely one of them.

I’m sure by the soda’s subtitle you have a basic idea about what you’re getting, but hold it, feel it, shake it — maybe don’t shake it — and when you finally open this bottle of Sprite, the cranberry flavoring is ever so slight, with the heavily spiced (of what, I may continue to ask?) quotient truly making this a drink for the season.

Limited Edition Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry 2

With a taste that’s reminiscent of ginger ale and crushed ornaments, it’s a cool sparkling beverage that feels more like an extra-sweetened holiday La Croix than anything Sprite has ever produced before. That being said, it ain’t all that bad, especially if you need a gentle stomach-setter after eating eight or nine of Tia Lupita’s deviled ham tamales. Yum!

Is there anything else you need to know?

One 20-ounce bottle contains 109% of your daily recommended allowance of sugars. That some sugar for today, and some for tomorrow also. Space out your sips!

Conclusion:

Sadly, there’s no Sprite Zero companion liquid to this, but, still, if you need one holiday soda (that’s not cinnamon flavored, natch) to get you through the 12 days of whatever holiday you may choose or not choose, I suppose you should probably make it this one.

Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 20 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Winco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Bottle) 200 calories, 0 grams of fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 54 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Cinnamon

Coca Cola Cinnamon

What is Coca-Cola Cinnamon?

Like every other brand, it’s Spice Season over at the Coca-Cola Company. Thankfully for us, it’s opted to add cinnamon to its classic recipe instead of pumpkin.

How is it?

Coca-Cola Cinnamon smells and tastes like someone added about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a bottle of Coke. I wouldn’t say it’s subtle, but it’s also not overwhelming. The cinnamon flavor rides the line nicely.

Coca Cola Cinnamon Closup

After the quick, overwhelming bursts of effervescence in each sip fade, you get a little hint of the warm spice. I think I prefer this to regular Cola, which is usually only a drink of choice for me when mixed with something harder, but this isn’t too big of a departure from the classic you’re used to.

Honestly, they probably could have gone a little further with the cinnamon flavor, but I’m not complaining.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The best part of the said flavor is the fact that the usual dryness does not follow it. No matter what I have with cinnamon, I always feel like I ate a handful of the Sahara and need to chug a bottle of water immediately.

Coca Cola Cinnamon Label

Oh, and cinnamon is not in the ingredients. This is a “cinnamon flavored” soda. It seems odd to me, but maybe it’s an allergen thing or something. Why not use the real thing?

Conclusion:

Coke has a winner here. This is gonna go over well with the masses as there is enough cinnamon to separate it from regular Coke, but not enough to make people feel like they’re taking the Cinnamon Challenge.

I’m probably gonna pick up another bottle to try as a mixer. I also kinda want to try using a cinnamon stick as a straw the next time because I am a child.

I hope it does well, and it pushes Coca-Cola to get more creative because a Cinnamon Vanilla Coke would be a God-tier soda.

Purchased Price: $2.12
Size: 20 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Quick Check
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Bottle) 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 65 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.