'We Try It' is a regular series where we try the latest off-beat food and beverage offerings.
On March 16 of this year, Coca-Cola China announced on its official Weibo account that it was releasing a new flavor: Ginger Coca-Cola.
Although the newfangled soft drink was first rolled out in Australia, Japan and New Zealand in 2016, its Middle Kingdom launch seems logical for one major reason: people here have been drinking coke mixed with ginger since long before the first soda chemists even considered it a marketable flavor. (For those not ‘in the know’: Coca-Cola boiled with ginger has been long used as a cold remedy in the PRC.)
While many Chinese netizens have welcomed the drink's arrival, we decided to sample the new soft drink for ourselves and rate it based on the following criteria: flavor, sweetness level, carbonation and its ability to be mixed with jinjiu. We also conducted a head-to-head against the always-delicious Coca-Cola Cherry to see how the ginger contender stands up against its predecessors. Here is what we found:
Weak, like very weak, like hanging out at the library on a Friday night at the rambunctious age of 21 weak. When sampling this newly launched beverage we expected a gingery kick. Instead, it's not quite ginger beer level, hovering somewhere between normal Coke and Canada Dry ginger ale.
That being said, the mild ginger taste essentially makes it Coke-with-a-twist and we are okay with that.
Our team of cola tasting experts were unanimous in our assessment that Ginger Coca-Cola has the exact same sweetness level as Coca-Cola’s flagship soda. Basically, we’re willing to bet that if you don’t find normal Coke offensively sweet, you’ll probably be okay with the new ginger variety.
In short: it’s the same as normal Coke. Pat yourself on the back if you are noticing a trend.
Jinjiu mixing ability
This is the category where Coca-Cola Ginger really shines, because it mixes astonishingly well with the sweet/bitter/herbal-tasting Chinese medicinal alcohol known as jinjiu.
While some may scoff at this and wonder aloud, “Why would you mix jinjiu with anything? I slam 125-milliliter bottles like Charlie Sheen bangs seven-gram rocks together,” we 1) encourage you to lay off poor Sheen, and 2) stand by our jinjiu-ginger-cola assessment.
Face off: Ginger Cola vs. Cherry Cola
The history of soft drinks is full of experimental flavors, some of which captured our hearts, while others earned our ire (looking at you, Pepsi Blue and Crystal Pepsi). Coca-Cola Cherry sits firmly in the former category, while Coca-Cola Ginger sits somewhere in the boring middle – it’s not bad, but it’s basically normal Coke with a slight twist.
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