REVIEW: Sprite Lymonade Legacy

The Coca-Cola Company has released Sprite Lymonade Legacy, a strawberry-lemonade-flavored take on the classic lemon-lime soda. Released with the tagline “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop”, will this soda do justice to the legacy of one the most influential musical movements of recent memory?

Here’s the bad news: the only music I listen to are Broadway show tunes and movie/videogame soundtracks. So, unless Hamilton counts, I’m completely unqualified to judge whether a strawberry-lemonade soda adequately represents hip-hop from a musical perspective. But I do know my way around a soda fountain, so I feel up to the task of reviewing this soda.

I open the lovely pink can, pour the soda into a glass, and am surprised at the lack of red or pink coloring in the liquid. It instead appears as ordinary, vaguely cloudy yellow lemonade. No doubt the cloudiness is from the modified food starch in the ingredient list and not the clarified lemon juice listed, but I appreciate how much like real lemonade it appears.

The scent is very strawberry-forward, and the flavor really brings the berry. It’s certainly artificial; you won’t mistake this for a freshly squeezed lemonade with crushed strawberries from the county fair. Think more of those old-fashioned strawberry candies. Underneath all that berry is a distinct lemon flavor, separate from the lemon-lime of classic Sprite, but there’s no mistaking this for regular Sprite Lymonade.

A strawberry flavor is a natural addition to the existing Sprite Lymonade. If you’re one to get excited about new sodas (And I am! And I suspect readers of this site are too), this may seem like an underwhelming brand extension. I, however, have come to appreciate this simple soda. At a time when Coca-Cola is releasing Coke varieties like “Pixel,” “Dreamworld,” and the upcoming “Sound Of A Lover’s Step As They Approach,” I can appreciate how much a touch of strawberry can add to a soft drink. The others all end up tasting like fruity bubblegum to me anyway.

Sprite Lymonade Legacy is a soda that does exactly what it promises. Some red coloring would have added to the strawberry experience, but the flavor is on point.

Purchased Price: $ 7.29
Size: 12 fl oz cans/12 pack
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 130 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar (including 35 grams of added sugars), and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Summer Freeze

Mtn Dew Summer Freeze is a Dew with a blast of summer Americana, but after tasting it, it’s more like a Dew with a blast of nostalgia. Because is it just me, or does this taste like another Dew flavor? A case of deja DEW?

While Summer Freeze’s bright blue color brings antifreeze to mind, its aroma reminds me of the fruity frozen novelty represented by the red, white, and blue ice pops on the can. Its flavor has a punch of blue raspberry with a bit of cherry on the back end. There’s also a hint of citrus that represents the white lime/lemon part of the patriotic pop.

For the most part, this does taste like a melted popsicle, but I can’t shake the fact that, as someone who has done durations with the different Dews, this Summer Freeze might be a slight reformulation or renaming of a previous flavor. But, overall, it’s a fun tasting limited time addition to the Dew lineup.

What’s also fun is the can’s graphics, which are filled with red, white, and blue bro-sicles that look like they’re trying to get into as much mischief and fun as they can before they melt to oblivion. The images are also sprinkled with Dew references, like the ice cream truck’s license plate being MD1940, which refers to Mtn Dew being invented in 1940; then there’s “DTD” on the fire hydrant stands, which stands for, everyone say it with me, Do the Dew; and then the “DSA” tattooed on the stick of the upside down popsicle that looks like it’ll melt to oblivion first, which might be a nod to a previous summer Dew, DEW-S-A.


Could this be a reformulation of DEW-S-A? It was a combination of Mtn Dew Code Red (cherry), Whiteout (citrus), and Voltage (raspberry), but made during Dew’s dark days of adding artificial sweeteners with high fructose corn syrup to bring down the drink’s sugar numbers a little. Perhaps Summer Freeze is the result when the sucralose is taken out of DEW-S-A, and maybe that’s why it tastes so familiar to me. Oh, speaking of artificial sweeteners, this is also available in a Zero Sugar variety.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12 fl oz cans/12 pack
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 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 55 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Peeps Pepsi

Let’s just get it outta the way – I don’t know why it wasn’t called “Peepsi” either, but I’m sure Pepsi has a rule against altering its iconic name no matter the reason.

That being said, it wouldn’t shock me if this bizarre collaboration was borne out of one “hip” PepsiCo executive saying, “Peepsi would make bank, no cap.” To which his colleagues would’ve probably replied, “Greg, we’ve gone over this, we don’t change our name, and please stop saying that, caps are essential to our product.”

I’ve tried to avoid Peeps Pepsi discourse because I imagine it’s absolutely dripping with hyperbole. People who don’t like Peeps DESPISE Peeps. I’m just imagining everyone acting like this soda is an affront to everything holy. I just know that’s how it is… but I probably shouldn’t try to create a straw man, I should just go and grab a straw, man.

This review is already an affront to everything holy.

Alright, here’s what I’ll say about Peeps Pepsi – it’s almost ok.

I like the scent. I wouldn’t exactly say it screams Peeps, but it makes for a nice unique twist on the usual cola smell. Once that smell translates into taste, it starts to get weird.

If this was a mystery flavor, I think a decent chunk of guessers would land on “marshmallow,” but not necessarily “Marshmallow Peeps.” Maybe as a total shot in the dark guess at some kind of snack brand synergy we’re used to at this point. You can twist my arm and get me to admit it kinda reminds me of Peeps, but I expected more of a match.

It’s obviously super sweet, but I don’t think it’s a pleasant sweetness. This soda is loaded with sugar, but it still tastes like it’s made with an artificial sugar substitute. The marshmallow flavor comes across as a really cheap attempt at a mutant vanilla cola.

There are stages of flavor in every sip that I’ll try my best to explain because I rode the same emotional roller coaster as that woman in the famous kombucha meme.

There’s a moment in the mouthfeel process – let’s just pause for a second and cringe at the fact I just wrote, “mouthfeel process.” – where it seems undrinkable. For a second, it tastes like the smell of an artificial “cake” scented candle or something.

There’s basically a film that materializes after the effervescent bubbles burn off and before the lingering “vanilla icing” aftertaste bursts in. It’s as if you momentarily ingested a buttery lotion. I felt like I was drinking a lesser brand’s attempt to clone a Pepsi Vanilla or something. I never really got to “Peeps,” even after literally comparing it to an actual Peep.

Ultimately, it’s pure novelty and Peeps-adjacent at best. Without the weirdness I attempted to articulate, I might even tell you to go for it. It’s not nearly as vile as I imagine some people will tell you it is, but it’s not even close to being really good either. Both of these products work better on their own.

I like Pepsi and I like (stale) Peeps, so I’m not mad I tried it. Seriously though, I like my Peeps marshmal dente. I want them to taste like a hard memory foam pillow covered in sand. That’s how I like my Peeps, but I definitely don’t need to have them in soda form ever again.

Purchased Price: $2.28
Size: 20 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Bottle) 260 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 69 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola Limited Edition Move

The Coca-Cola Creations line is known for inventive flavors inspired by abstract concepts, celebrity collaborations, and eye-catching thematic aesthetics. The newest in the line, Coca-Cola Limited Edition Move, boasts all three. Co-created with singer Rosalía, Move is described on the Coca-Cola website as “a celebration of transformation. A homage to all the versions of ourselves that coexist within us, and that forms our very own personality.” The product, also according to Coca-Cola, “brings to life the transformational power of music.”

The fun of the Creations line includes the questions each flavor raises. Specifically, what flavors represent transformation? What is this beverage supposed to taste like? Will any of the versions of myself that coexist within me regret spending $2.49 on a mystery flavor? These enigmas are the stuff arguments in the comments section are made of.

Move shares classic Coca-Cola’s appearance and scent, minus most of the soda’s characteristic spice notes. The first few sips of the full sugar variety reminded me of a minimally-spiced cola spiked with smooth coconut flavor. The more I drank, the more vanilla flavor crept in until it became dominant. In the spirit of Coca-Cola’s musical inspiration, drinking Move is like listening to two warring DJs mixing the same songs. There is some cohesion, but flavor highs and lows are bound to occur as they both impetuously fiddle with their controller dials to produce varying levels of coconut tempo and vanilla volume.

At some point, the vanilla won out for my taste buds, producing a flavor that reminded me of the scent of Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar body lotion. (If you know, you know, and it’s weird, I know.) Still, the taste isn’t wholly unpleasant. The artificial quality of the vanilla vacillates, affecting the soda’s overall drinkability. At its most enjoyable, there is an almost creamy smoothness to the flavor profile that makes the drink less crisp and refreshing than most of the brand’s other offerings. I finished the bottle over the course of a few days, and the lotion association is now cemented in my brain so strongly that I can’t un-think about it.

It feels appropriate that transformation tastes, to me, like shifting flavors among a familiar – but altered – cola taste. To continue the experience, I scanned the QR code on the vibrant pink, black, and white packaging to find music content, as well as a personality quiz that generates a custom metaverse-inspired avatar and playlist. For the record, my avatar looks like an upside-down tulip with wobbly arms, wormlike hair, and a = sign for a face. Maybe because I’m elderly, I don’t quite understand it, but it did “Move” me to laughter.

For those open to a transformational experience, Coca-Cola Move is available in 20 oz bottles or 7.5 mini cans, in both the full sugar and Zero Sugar varieties.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Purchased at: Giant Eagle
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 65 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dr Pepper Strawberries & Cream

When the folks at Dr Pepper aren’t busy at the soda fountain mixing together as many random flavors as they can while still having their beverage be palatable (somehow 23 is the magic number), they apparently dabble in berry farming. In 2006 Dr Pepper released Berries & Cream and 2019 saw Dr Pepper Dark Berry. The latest trip to the patch brings us Strawberries & Cream. This variety, with its pink label and strawberry flavor, seems like it would make a good limited edition for Valentine’s Day, but it’s actually set to be a permanent addition to the lineup.

The first whiff upon opening the bottle is definitely strawberry forward. It reminds me more of strawberry candy than a real strawberry, but as someone who eats more strawberry candies than the fruit, I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. The semi-spicy, peppery kick that makes Dr Pepper unique isn’t totally lost to the strawberry and cream flavors, although it is more muted here. I found the flavors smooth and very drinkable, but I wish something stood out more. Despite being tasty, it was sort of underwhelming.

I think the cream could be more pronounced, and maybe also the Dr Pepper. Something about this falls flat for me, which leads me to my next issue – it’s literally a bit flat. I tried this straight out of the bottle and poured it over ice, and it seemed less carbonated than usual. There was a slight initial fizz, but it disappeared right away. I don’t know if this is something to do with the formula or if I just got an odd batch, but I missed the bubbles.

I appreciate Dr Pepper leaning into old-timey soda fountain themes and I think this new concoction would be an excellent base for an ice cream float. As a stand-alone drink, it lacks something, and I’m not sure I’d have chosen it for a full-time product. Considering there are few mainstream strawberry sodas on the market, I can see fans of that flavor really enjoying this. But it’s worth noting that the other person who tried it with me found the strawberry aspect to be medicinal tasting. I’ll look back on this as a pleasant novelty drink, but to me, it’s just not the cream of the crop.

It’s worth noting this also comes in a zero sugar version. Dr Pepper has a history of excelling with these alternatives, but unfortunately, it wasn’t available at my store yet.

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: Jewel-Osco
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 250 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 66 grams of total carbs, 65 grams of total sugars (incl. 65 grams of added sugars), and 0 grams of protein.