Like any kind of Southerner, we at southern Kitchen love traditions, particularly those developed right right here in the South and also passed down and also around for generations. Therefore it was only natural that we started wondering around the story behind the South’s favorite carbonated drink — Coca-Cola. We’ve talked around the ideal ways to gain it — commandments exist — and also shared number of recipes made much better with Coke, however we wanted to know much more about the various flavors that the drink.

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The Coca-Cola this firm journey started in the so late 19th century. In 1886, between racial and labor unrest in the joined States, a man by the surname of john S. Pemberton presented to the beverage step a carbonated drink the would thrive to specify rest, relaxation and also refreshment in the South. Coca-Cola, named later by Pemberton’s companion Frank Robinson, is today an instantly recognizable brand with plenty of flavors about the world, but the dark, fizzy initial cola has actually remained the South’s preferred drink since its roots were planted in Atlanta, Georgia every those years ago.

Today, the company boasts brands prefer Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid, Simply and Dasani, which together effectively cover almost every form of beverage. Still, just seeing the surname Coca-Cola paints in our minds a photo of that distinct, edge glass bottles and cheery, red cans emblazoned through white script logo, and also composes in our ears the bright pop of a lid or tab and the satisfaction fizz of carbonated bubbles the follows.

Flavor Notes

Take a sip that Coke today and you’ll taste a little bit of vanilla blended with a sprinkling that spices choose nutmeg and cinnamon, and a irradiate hint the citrus underneath the sweetness. The formula behind Coca-Cola’s significant taste to be billed as a heavily guarded secret enveloped in a mystical aura similar to that roughly folklore and childhood fairy tales. Every anyone could offer to be educated guesses based on rumors. The cooking recipes ingredients stayed a compilation that scholarly and also conspiratorial guesses until 2013. That’s once writer and also freelance journalist mark Pendergrast released his book, for God, nation & Coca-Cola: The Definitive history of the an excellent American Soft Drink and also the firm That renders It, which consisted of photos of very early recipe penned in Robinson’s handwriting.

Pemberton’s initial recipe had actually been doctored slightly by Robinson and also Asa Griggs Candler, The Coca-Cola Company’s founding president. However, countless of the initial flavor notes, favor vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and also citrus oils, remained in the recipe. The secret was out, with little fanfare over possible copycat recipes developing from the printed recipe. It no just because the Coke brand had essentially commandeered the distribution world and also our taste buds; Coke’s closest rival had already been roughly for a century.


Founded just over a decade after Coca-Cola’s release, PepsiCo had crafted a cola-flavored soft drink comparable to Coke’s, other than sweeter and also with a dryer flavor profile. Pepsi thrived alongside Coca-Cola, developing sports drinks, tea, water, juice, and also becoming the second largest producer that cola flavored soft drink in the country.

Almost neck and neck with Coca-Cola in popularity and also yearning come surpass it, PepsiCo came up with the Pepsi challenge in 1975, expected to prove the Americans favor Pepsi come Coke. The challenge was basic — Pepsi representatives collection up tasting stations approximately the joined States. Two plain cups were presented to people, one comprise Pepsi and the other containing Coke. Based on just a single, remote sip native each, entrants picked your favorite drink. It seemed to be a success because that Pepsi. Until 2005, when writer Malcolm Gladwell revealed a defect in the check — civilization would always prefer the sweeter drink (Pepsi) based upon a solitary sip, even if a less sweet drink all at once (Coke) would prevail if tasters drank a full can.

In the next decade, as competition rose in between Coca-Cola and its competitors, the space between company profits dwindled. Coca-Cola collection out to re-energize that is brand. TaB, a Coca-Cola brand of diet sodas there is no the “diet” or Coke name, had been top top the market due to the fact that the 1960s, and Diet Coke had actually been top top the market due to the fact that 1982, yet Coke wanted to explore an altering up its standard recipe.

In 1985, Coca-Cola rolled out “New Coke,” a re-formulation the its original taste. Early on taste tests provided proof most people preferred new Coke come the initial flavor. However when Coca-Cola began selling and also marketing new Coke, the outcry against an altering the original formula — one people had grown to associate v home, rest and relaxation — was so strong, Coca-Cola’s original flavor had to make its return, and brand-new Coke was no more.

After re-establishing itself together the premier cola drink top top the home shelf and on the consumer’s mind, Coca-Cola’s focus turned to including complementary fruity and mellow seasonings to its initial cola taste. Us rounded up every the seasonings that sprang off the original Coca-Cola and also presented them listed below in a timeline.

Flavor Timeline

1886 to present

Coca-Cola original

1985 to present

Coca-Cola Cherry, Diet Coke Cherry


Golden Coca-Cola in Beijing

Released together a limited time drink come celebrate the Olympics hosted in Beijing.

2002 to present

Coca-Cola Vanilla, Diet Coke Vanilla

Vanilla coke went far in 2005, lot to fans’ dismay, yet came ago in 2007.

2005 to present

Coca-Cola through Lime, Diet Coke v Lime

Now obtainable in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

2005 to present

Diet Coke irradiate Sango

This flavor was a citrusy Diet Coke only obtainable outside the joined States. In beforehand 2018, Coca-Cola exit its equivalent, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange, in the unified States and also Canada.

2006 to 2009

Coca-Cola Raspberry, Diet Coke Raspberry

This flavor to be released in new Zealand in 2006, went far in 2009, and also was re-released in 2017, now accessible in Freestyle machines.

2006 to 2007

Coca-Cola black Cherry Vanilla, Diet Coke black color Cherry Vanilla

2006 to 2008

Coca-Cola Blak, a solid coffee-flavored drink


Coca-Cola Orange

This flavor was available for a limited time outside the joined States. Now easily accessible in Freestyle machines throughout the country.

2016 come present

Coca-Cola Ginger

This odor is only obtainable in Australia.


Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Twisted Mango, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange, Diet Coke Ginger Lemon

Coca-Cola Georgia Peach, Coca-Cola California Raspberry


Coca-Cola Lemon-Do

Coca-Cola’s first alcoholic drink released in Japan.


Coca-Cola Clear

This clear, zero calorie version of Coca-Cola was released in Japan.

Early 2018 experienced a slew that new, sprightly called Coca-Cola flavors. The soda market had actually shifted. Audiences, particularly the younger audience, now wanted less sweet sodas and also clearer ingredient lists. Solve this shift in preference were fruit-flavored seltzer waters like LaCroix and locally-made, little batch craft sodas discovered in hometown markets. Coca-Cola choose up on this transition in preferences and released numerous bright and also fruity Diet Coke drinks, adhered to by local craft soda spices Georgia Peach and California Raspberry.

Today, most of Coca-Cola’s fruity spices live on in Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, touch display soda fountains released in 2009 approximately the nation that can dispense 165 various Coca-Cola brand drinks and custom flavors.

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Whether you like the classic, unmodified cola cooking recipes in a edge glass v a couple of peanuts popped in, or if you gain going top top a fruity, flavor adventure using a Freestyle soda machine, Coca-Cola will constantly have a location in the mind of Southerners and also on our fridge shelves.