So, the other night, I'm in a pub. Thanks to my current tee-total status, I basically have a sum total of two beverage options these days.
The first is lime & soda. I really like a good lime & soda, but ooh boy does it really grind my gears if it is not made correctly. I need exactly the right ratio of lime cordial to soda water. Preferably with a slice of lime, but I can take or leave that. I have been known to ask a bartender if I could make my own in the past... although to be fair, that would have been a vodka lime & soda, and most likely not my first of the evening. ANYWAY. I digress.
The second option currently available to me is Diet Coke. Ooooh boy do I loves me a good cold crisp DC. Tends to be my go-to when I just cannot be arsed with taking the whole 'lime & soda ratio' gamble. "Diet Coke please" isn't that hard to fuck up, is it?
Let me tell you. It is. And it's all thanks to this sneaky interloper: Coke Zero. I FUCKING HATE COKE ZERO.
So, the whole premise behind the existence of Coke Zero is that it tastes like traditional Coca Cola, but without the sugar. Whereas, Diet Coke tastes like, well, Diet Coke. Not regular Coke. DIET COKE.
(why do I feel the need to use shouty caps so much? A therapist would have a field day...)
This post is not about the chemical differences, the sugar content, artificial sweeteners, blah blah blah. You can find all that here if you care. To me, it's about TASTE, people. T. A. S. T. E.
I really dislike the taste of Coca Cola. And, therefore, Coke Zero. I just don't like it. At all. I can tell the difference at first sip between a Coke and a Diet Coke, and I am not happy if I have been served the wrong one. I will complain. As is my right.
Back in the day, the biggest cola-related issue used to be Coke vs Pepsi. Not so anymore, it seems. Although... that would take me on another tangent 'cos Pepsi Max should be illegal. Eww. *ahem*, sorry...
Back to the other night. I ask for a Diet Coke, and what comes to me is clearly either Coca Cola or Coke Zero (I can't tell between the two, and don't care to). So, I send it back. I tell the waitress I ordered a Diet Coke, she apologises, and gets me another one. Here's the thing. The second drink? Same as the first.
At this point, given my stress levels were already fairly high, I couldn't be bothered complaining further. I pushed it aside and drank water. But it got me thinking... do bar staff think these two products are the same? Is Diet Coke in danger of being outrun by this sleek, black and shiny new rival? How will I cope???
As it is, in many shops and cafes now, the fridges are bereft of DC. The Coke Zero bottles and cans have strolled on in and taken over the shelves that are not rightfully theirs. I haz a sad.
|Seems I'm not the only one confused|
Cut to this weekend. I'm in another dining establishment, and I ask for a Diet Coke. The waitress comes right back out to our table to apologise, and tell me that they are out of DC but, would I like a Coke Zero instead? No thanks, I politely decline, I'll have a Sprite Zero instead. I thanked her for knowing the difference, and she smiled. She knew. She got it.
It's just a damn shame she's in the minority. Is anyone else feeling my pain?