Taste-Test: Coca-Cola With Lemon

Coca-Cola and lemon go together like chocolate and peanut butter. It adds a refreshing, sophisticated tang to proceedings and allows designated drivers to feel less like little kids down the pub. But how does lemon taste when it’s infused directly into the beverage? Not that great, it turns out.

Coca-Cola is going all out this summer. Hot on the heels of its self-freezing ‘Ice Up’ bottles, the beverage behemoth has seen fit to resurrect its Lemon flavour in Australia. [related title=”More taste-test” tag=”taste-test” items=”4″]

Coca-Cola with Lemon originally launched in the US back in 2001. Various iterations have been cropping up in Australia ever since, usually as “limited-editions” in a bid to drum up additional hype. Recent variants have included Diet Coke with Lemon and Coca-Cola with Lime.

As far as we can remember though, this is the first time that the ‘full strength’ version has been officially released Down Under. The launch has been surprisingly soft, with no mention of the product on Coca-Cola’s official YouTube or Facebook pages. Nor has there been a press release (and we get press releases about everything).

Indeed, if I hadn’t spotted it at my local supermarket I probably wouldn’t be aware of its existence. [clear]

Slightly dubiously, Coca-Cola With Lemon does not contain any actual lemon juice, reconstituted or otherwise. Most lemon soft drinks at least throw in a few per cent (Solo, for example, purports to contain 5% crushed lemons). Instead, the sourness comes from manufactured food acids (334, 338). Otherwise, the ingredients and nutritional information are much the same as regular Coke, although the Lemon version does contain one gram less sugar. (Big whoop.)

So how does Coca-Cola With Lemon taste? Personally, I was a little disappointed. The synthetically sour aftertaste doesn’t quite gel with the syrupy flavour of regular Coke — it’s much more suited to the diet version, which may explain why full-strength lemon version remains less common.

It’s by no means the worst soft drink on the market but if you enjoy lemon with your Coke I strongly recommend sticking to the actual fruit.

Score: 6/10

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