We're still a little bit obsessed with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine... even after we tried all 100+ flavors. You know what the real fun is? Creating combinations. Nope, 127 flavors isn't enough for us; we want the mixing to begin.
But since trying all 8001 hypothetical two-soda combinations* from the Freestyle machine seems daunting even for us, we're just sharing a few of our favorites.
* If memory from that probability course a decade ago serves
John: The Sugared
- Mezzo Mix: We've written before about how much we love the combination of Coke and Fanta Orange; with a fountain, you can control the ratio precisely. We much prefer the DIY version to the "orange Coke."
- Rasparilla: Barq's and Fanta Raspberry. The bite of the root beer really balances the raspberry and sugar well. It's rich and full-tasting, lots of body.
- Cherry Sundae: Sprite Cherry and Sprite Vanilla has the sweet-tart classic "red" flavor, but the vanilla makes it feel a little richer.
- The "11 Year Old": Didn't everyone do this at least once at the soda fountain? I tried Coke, Mello Yello, Barqs, Fanta, Pibb, and Sprite—but as always, the root beer takes over. You basically have to take root beer out of any "all in one" mix if you want to taste anything else at all.
- All Fanta: Mixing the grape, lime, raspberry, and peach gives you a fruit punch that's a lot more satisfying than Fanta's own "fruit punch" flavor. Plus, there's the feeling of accomplishment from making it yourself.
- Grapevine: Fanta Grape; Sprite Grape; Grape Mello Yello. It tastes like a grape Lifesaver, but in a more appealing way than any of the others taste alone.
- "Mr Barq's": I like the way the complicated flavors of Barq's root beer and the richer, sweeter Mr Pibb play together. Definitely my favorite new discovery.
Carey: The Diet
- Sex on the Beach: Fanta Zero Peach, plus Fanta Zero Orange and a little bit of Fanta Zero Raspberry and Cherry (to somehow mimic cranberry; yes, I'm just making this up). I prefer most Fanta blends to any individual Fanta. I suppose technically this is a Virgin Sex on the Beach, but that sounds a little creepy, no? (Or like a Katy Perry song.)
- Strawberry Daiquiri: Fanta Zero Lime plus a little bit of Strawberry Fanta—but just a little. Less than you think you need. Strawberry's a pretty dominant flavor.
- "Half and Half": Diet Mr Pibb plus Minute Maid Light tastes surprisingly like a lemonade-iced tea blend. See also: Diet Mr Pibb plus Minute Maid Light Raspberry... Diet Mr Pibb plus Minute Maid Light Peach...
- Super Cherry Coke: Cherry Coke Zero plus Cherry Sprite Zero adds a further cherry hit to the soda, for those who like that sort of thing. (I do.)
What are your favorite soda fountain combinations?
About the authors: Carey Jones is the senior managing editor of Serious Eats. Follow her on Twitter (@careyjones). John M. Edwards writes about soda, occasionally fast food, and eats 85% of the food Carey orders. Follow him on Twitter (@johnmedwards).