Everyone knows what Coca-Cola tastes like. Even though it’s hard to describe, it has a flavor that is one of its own. Even other colas taste different – the common taste test between Coke and Pepsi is no challenge at all for regular drinkers.
In recent years Coca-Cola has gotten more experimental with its flavors, adding vanilla and cherry vanilla to its options. Now though, it has launched Coca-Cola Creations, a series of limited-edition themed products and collaborations.
The first to hit the market is Coca-Cola Starlight (or Intergalactic in the UK), which launched back in March 2022. This drink, available in regular and zero sugar variations has been transformed by the power of space, according to the website. This limited edition is still available across the US but can be a little tricky to find, so when you do, it's worth filling your special edition Coca-Cola fridge.
The next release, hitting stores on May 2, 2022, is Coca-Cola Byte. This promises the taste of Coke Zero ‘synced with flavorful pixels.’ This is a drink aimed at gamers and even has its own location in Fortnite, the snappily-named Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte Point Island. At this location, you'll find mini-games and quests to complete.
The Coca-Cola Creations website also lists a collaboration with the artist, Marshmello in July. If it isn't a drink with a marshmallow taste, I'll be hugely disappointed. Coca-Cola Intergalactic, as Starlight is known in the UK is out now. There's no word as to whether Byte will come to the UK or Australia as yet.
Drinks that taste of stars and pixels sound pretty impressive, but what do stars and pixels actually taste like? To bring you the answers I did my own interstellar exploring – well, I headed to my local Walgreens – to track down a bottle of Coke Starlight, while Coca-Cola kindly supplied a can of its Coke Byte ahead of the release.
To give the tasting a reference point, I had some regular Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero on hand. I then gave each a bit of a taste from the can or bottle, as well as drinking it from a glass to see how it looked.
Coca-Cola Intergalactic (Starlight)
From unscrewing the cap on Coke Starlight it has a different smell to regular Coke. On first taste, it's definitely lighter and not as sugary as regular, full-fat Coke. It doesn't have as much sodium either. It does have a slight raspberry or cherry flavor to it and has a similar smell. There's a slightly sweet aftertaste that's not unpleasant, too.
When you pour it into a glass you can really see the color. It has a reddish coloring to it, much like the red tones you might see in pictures of deep space. It reminds me a bit of the Cosmic Red PS5 controller that was released last year.
This version is regular Coke Starlight – complete with 240 calories – but it is also available in a Zero Sugar version, both as cans and bottles. I'd happily pick up a bottle of this, at least the Zero Sugar one, but it wouldn't replace a Cherry Coke Zero for me.
Coke Byte is a completely different beast. On the snap of the can, I got a real smell of Parma Violet sweets. It's a slightly floral smell that has closer to a blueberry feel. The taste matches, with that same slight berry flavor but the same Coke Zero aftertaste.
Poured into a glass Coca-Cola Byte looks identical to your regular Coke products. As with Coke Starlight, it has less sodium than the regular Coke, and even than Coke Zero and of course, still has no calories or carbs.
While Coke Starlight feels like a variation, Byte feels like a brand new flavor. It's a tasty drink and actually, I would choose it from the shelf. It's also a cool-looking can. The Coca-Cola logo is pixelated with a purple background – also adding to my Parma Violet senses.
Coca-Cola Byte Zero Sugar launches on May 2, 2022, in the US. I'd highly recommend grabbing yourself a can, IRL. As tributes to gaming go, this one gets a high score.