It has been over a year since I posted a review. I can't say I have any new ones in production at the moment either! I will return a rate but please leave a comment so I can see which review you've rated and when. xx
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Sugar and Spice and all things Nice?
A good, low calorie, refreshing soft drink
Not quite as good as Pepsi Max, possible health implications?
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WHERE THIS FITS INTO MY BEATLEMANIA MONTH OF MAY:
Uh, well, it doesn't really. I could speculate and say that the band liked the drink but that might actually be a lie...and I don't condone lying, not always anyway!
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Where as some people are addicted to hot caffeine intoxicated drinks such as coffee, for me, it has always been a form or diet coke or another; I'm not on a diet but due to the lower amounts of sugar in these version, I am under the assumption that they are more beneficial for dental hygiene and health in general than their fattening counterparts...
BUT HOW DID THE DIET COKE STORY BEGIN? After being founded in 1892, the Coca Cola Company is one of the two leading brands of Cola drinks in the world. It wasn't until nearly a century later in 1982 that a diet version of the popular soft drink was released to the public, first being introduced in the United States on Independence Day. It took over from the company's first brand of diet drinks, called Tab, which was introduced in 1963.
Since then, the Diet Coke brand has undergone many changes, mainly as a way to maintain its custom against fierce competition from the other leaders, Pepsi. The main evolution comes in the flavouring; since a cherry taste was added in the late 1980's, several other fruits have been added to the mix, including the now defunct raspberry essence and my personal favourites of lemon and lime zests.
To this day, Diet Coke is still widely available in literally hundreds of countries, ranging from here in the UK to India and the Caribbean. The company are still vying to keep a hold of the top spot in the coke industry, continuing to introduce new products such as Coke Zero to fend off others. And who can forget the famous Cola Wars, huh?
APPEARENCE AND APPEAL The packaging for the Diet Coke cola has always maintained its bright background of silver; I think that shall always stick now as a part of the brand as people instantly recognise it as being a lighter or less calorie loaded soft drink. The coke logo is in the usual red tone to again be instantly recognisable to the customer.
The packaging today is a lot more modern than in previous times. To be fair though, the packaging isn't the drinks main seller as it is already a well established, popular brand within the beverage market.
The actual drink itself - as far as the colour brown goes - is actually quite pleasant; it's a sort of deep caramel colour, as you would expect from any drink that contains many of its ingredients (more on that a little bit later on) and is labelled as a part of the coca cola brand. It has about the same depth of colour as the ordinary coke though so, appearance wise, it's difficult to tell which is which.
TASTE If you've ever drunk the 'full fat coke' before, you'll know that it is invariably quite sweet, some times almost overbearingly so. However, the taste is one of the prime reasons as to why I prefer drinking the diet option. It has what I like to describe as a slightly shaper, deeper taste in comparison that I do think is much more refreshing than the ordinary Coke variety. I do find it's one of those drinks where it isn't necessary to drink the entire can before you feel that you've actually had a decent drink. Taken in sips - or gulps as it has been known with me some days - it is very good at quenching your thirst in stages.
The after taste isn't overly cola like either; because of the thinner consistency of the drink, it seems to be fairly easy to digest and is no where near as bad as the original coke for any belching!
CONSISTENCY Another advantage to me of the Diet Coke brand is that it is slightly thinner to original coke. The thinner consistency in comparison means that it doesn't make your saliva quite as thick after consumption (sorry for the gross details!) which means that the taste perhaps won't linger for quite as long either. Anyway, as it is much lighter, I actually think that it makes for a much more enjoyable drinking experience.
Due to the thinner consistency, it again helps add to the refreshing nature of the drink
FIZZINESS This is partly where the Diet Coke as a brand is a let down; if you enjoy your drinks fizzy, than this is perhaps not the best drink to be taking your time over drinking. The can I am drinking at the moment has been opened for approximately half an hour, poured at regular intervals, and is already losing its fizz at quite a fast rate. I am really not a fan of flat coke; without the fizz it's nothing. So, where as the taste allows you to take the drinking process steadily, depending on how lively you like your drink, this might not always be possible. When the drink is at its fizziest though, it is certainly at its best; the fizz makes the taste that bit sharper and it's certainly at its most enjoyable then.
HOW IS IT BEST SERVED? It would say cold...very cold! Not frozen as I have been known to forget about taking it out of the freezer before, but cold. Leaving it in the fridge for an hour is definitely substantial but if you do like your Coke fizzy, avoid putting lots of ice into the glass as it is lost almost immediately.
That is of course if you do use a glass to drink your soda. Usually, I drink from the can in one of my more bloke like tendencies which I do have to say is the perfect way to enjoy the Diet Coke. It tastes more authentic that way. However, on this occasion I poured in into a glass for two reasons; one because most people would probably drink out of a glass so it probably allows me to formulate a better review on the product. Secondly, before getting served at my local shop, the cashier shoved her used chewing gum into a bin. Yeah, I am kind of a hygiene person...occasionally.
Drunk out of a glass, there is no doubt that the fizz disappears a lot quicker as it is out of its 'natural habitat' of the can. Without the fizz, it really does begin to taste a lot like original coke; for some bizarre reason or another, the sweetness seems to become a lot more prominent. But of course, the calories aren't there!
INGREDIENTS Carbonated water is the main one within 'Diet Coke'. Unsurprisingly, there is a large proportion of caramel colouring involved to maintain its fairly definite colour. Other notable ingredients include sweeteners, 'natural' flavours, caffeine, phosphoric acid, aspartame, potassium benzoate and citric acids.
'NURTRITIONAL' INFORMATION On a number of levels, Diet Coke is perhaps healthier for you than normal Coke. I do use that term most freely but when you consider that the calorie intake per 330ml can is less than 1% of a person's average daily consumption, it is good if you are on a diet compared with the 7% on ordinary Coca Cola.
There are no fats, no saturates, no carbohydrates, no sugars, no fibres with only a trace of protein and sodium. So it sounds too good to be true? Someone I once knew told me that if this was the case, that it most probably is too good to be true...
HEALTH IMPLICATIONS? It has been reported in more recent years of the possible health implications associated with long term use of Diet Coke. For one it is a highly addictive drink, perhaps because of the fact that it includes caffeine properties but the added sweetener of Aspartame, which is used in most diet drinks, has been controversially linked to long term serious illness such as Cancer and the degeneration of the brain.
There has been another health type scare concerning Cancer with reference to Sodium benzoate. If it mixes with something called ascorbic acids, it could result in Cancer agents being found within the drink (I'm just a review, not a chemist!). Largely however, most of these findings haven't really been confirmed to a great degree. Some science related stuff has been known to go in and out of fashion. A good example of this is that one day red wine is good for a number of health reasons, such as the heart, but the next day it's bad for you.
The best thing here is to drink Diet Coke responsibly; try to avoid daily intakes of the stuff - as tempting as it may be. Everything in moderation, that's what my Mum says!
However, Coca Cola are very concerned about this issue and on their website; there is a separate file which includes a lot of useful information about the sweeteners they include in their drinks. You can find the link at the bottom of the review.
Oh and of course, it's not really going to make you lose oodles of weight; it's only called 'Diet' Coke because of its lower calorie percentage NOT because one morning you take a sip and the next day get up to find you have lost a stone!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY Diet Coke comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, most notably a 330ml can and a 500ml bottle. The can I purchased today was 62p for the can at the Co-op and the medium bottles were about £1.02. Being Cola, of course they do multipacks of both the cans and bottles; a six pack of the 3330ml cans costs £2.25 in Tesco's at the moment, but are on offer with two packs for £4. At Asdas, they are doing both the normal and diet variety in a 30 can pack for £7! Remember what I said about drinking responsibly...
You can get miniature, 150ml cans of the stuff in some stores. Those are obviously good if you are a bit paranoid about the possible health implications and wanted a quick thirst quencher. Alternatively, if you don't want your children drinking gallons of the stuff but would prefer them to drink a soft drink with less added sugar, than these smaller cans are definitely perfect. I can remember drinking them as far back as I can remember and they are excellent in the summer after a couple of minutes in the fridge!
If you went down to the pub now a bought a glass of it, the price would inevitably vary depending on which part of the country you are in. Here where I live, in one of my locals, it cost me £1.80 for a long, tall glass - not too bad but obviously you are paying for the fact you are drinking it in a pub rather than in the comfort of your own home.
HOW IT COMPARES TO ITS COMPETITION I have to be honest and say that whilst I do like Diet Coke on odd occasions, I am more of a Pepsi girl at heart - more specifically, Pepsi Max. As a way to combat the threat of lower sugar drinks invasion, Diet Coke produced another brand that co-existed within their formula; Coke Zero. That's ok but I would say that it has to be a lot colder than the Pepsi Max or it tastes awful!
If you were blind folded and drunk both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi simultaneously, the chances are that you wouldn't know the difference between the two. They are both very similar and I mean that as a compliment to both drinks. Perhaps the Pepsi version is slightly sweeter but both are very refreshing soft drinks.
The two are quite evenly matched in terms of most ventures they take as a soft drinks company; basically, if one brings out a new flavour than the other does too. As I mentioned earlier, I do really enjoy the Diet Cola's addition of lemon and lime flavours as it does seem to make the drink slightly more enjoyable and interesting. Here, I do think the Coke companies diet drink does benefit from these additional flavourings as I do find that it can be quite a bland drink sometimes.
OVERALL Overall, whenever I get Diet Cola, I know that I am going to get a high quality drink but that also needs drinking fairly quickly before all of the delicious fizz is gone. I also know that I'm going got get a drink that's refreshing, tastes decent and is good in between cider sessions at the pub!
With its long running series of iconic and amusing advertising, Diet Coke is a drink that certainly won't vanish overnight; in spite of some of its changes, it still maintains its place at the top of the soft drinks hierarchy and rightfully so.
If you are desperate for a low calorie soft drink during the long summer days than Diet Coke would certainly be one of the definite options. It has a strong, sharp taste to it that is both thirst quenching and delicious without containing too much added sugar which is always a bonus for your general health and dental hygiene alike!
I'm still very much a Pepsi Max supporter, which is perhaps a totally different drink with the same amount of calories. But put it this way; if that isn't available than Diet Coke is definitely a good substitute!
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DIET COKE? For more information specifically about Diet Coke, visit: www.dietcoke.com to keep up to date with all of the brands 'new and improved' versions of the drink.
To find out about the Coca Cola Company in general, visit: www.cokezone.co.uk
Find out more about the sweeteners that Coke use in their drinks, visit: http://www.beverageinstitute.org/healthcare_professionals/pdf/low_calorie_s weetener_fact_sheet.pdf