So there I was, standing in line at the grocery store, when a sparkly soda bottle caught my eye. Something deep down in my lizard brain said, "Ooh, shiny," so I decided to buy it. It was a bottle of Coke Starlight, which is apparently a brand-new flavor from Coca-Cola (and one of the zero-calorie varieties).
I'm a pretty die-hard Diet Coke addict, but I love Coke Zero and full-sugar Coke, too, so I was excited to give this new flavor a try. I don't always go for a flavored Coke, but I will say that I loved Cherry Coke back in the day.
First thing I noticed with this Coke Starlight was the color. There's a reddish-pink tint to the drink that's kinda pretty when you look at it in the light.
If you're wondering what flavor this is...uh, I am too. The bottle says it's "space-flavored," which was admittedly what really sold me on buying it. What the heck does space taste like? And in soda form, none the less?
A peep at the ingredients doesn't reveal much either. It very cleverly says that there are "natural flavors" and "fruit and vegetable juice for color." The "vegetable" part is intriguing, but since it's just for color, I have to assume that maybe they used a little bit of beet juice or something to get that pretty red color.
A little poking around on the internet revealed that this is indeed a limited-time flavor, part of Coke's "Creations" line (which I assume will include other fanciful drinks), and it also comes in a full-sugar variety. They only seemed to have the zero calorie one in the cooler at the checkout line when I bought mine.
So, I guess the only way to figure out the flavor is to try it! I took a sip, and...
...I have absolutely NO idea what it tastes like. It's vaguely similar to Faygo RedPop, but with some sort of spice to it. It almost tastes like cinnamon sugar, mixed with cherries or vanilla? It's really indescribable. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly it is. It definitely has a sweetness to it, and I barely taste the aspartame that you usually taste with Coke Zero. In fact, I can't tell if I taste the aspartame at all... I think the "starlight" covers all of it up.
It has a smell to it that somehow reminds me of my childhood. I must have eaten or drunk something as a child of the '90s in Michigan that reminds me of this. Weirdly, when I smelled it, the first thing that came to mind was Chuck E Cheese??? My working theory is that it does indeed smell like Faygo RedPop, which I definitely would have had at a friend's birthday party back then.
Looking on Twitter, people seem to think it tastes like graham crackers. I could see that! I don't think it's like, "Wow, that's definitely graham crackers," but there's a hint of it.
(I'm also seeing people say that it tastes like cotton candy, or marshmallows, which would indicate that maybe it's supposed to be kinda like s'mores without the chocolate? Then again, other people are saying it tastes like spicy medicine or vape juice, so your mileage may vary.)
Overall, I have no idea what to make of this flavor. It's definitely ~interesting~, and I think you could make some really creative and most likely tasty cocktails with it. But I don't know if I could drink a whole 20-ounce bottle of it, just because of the level of sweetness and that mystery flavor. I think if you like REALLY sweet soda (or Faygo RedPop), then this might be for you. As for me, I think I'll stick to my Diet Cokes until the next "creation" comes along.
If any of you out there happen to try Coca-Cola Starlight and figure out what the heck it tastes like, please let me know in the comments.