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Every year, soft-drink companies release several new flavors of classic drinks into test markets, and occasionally one of those makes its way into the mainstream. Sometimes these new drinks are pretty good. Other times, they're the kind of thing that makes you wonder what kind of drunken monkey in a cheap business suit dreamed up the liquid you're torturing your taste buds with. It's in this spirit that we present to you the Top 10 Worst Variations on Good Sodas.

10. 7-Up Gold

7-Up Gold

The year 1988. It was a new and exciting time. The Cold War simmered on. Windows 2.1 was released to the world. And both Mystery Science 3000 and Red Dwarf premiered. Because it was such an awesome year, minus the whole Patrick Bateman thing, Seven-Up decided to release a new beverage, and they gave it a name that was as equally awesome: Gold.

7-Up Gold was a yellowish drink, that claimed to be spiced. Spiced with what? Well, depending on who you ask, it was either cinnamon or ginger. Either way, it came out tasting like a flat ginger ale, with an apple-cinnamon aftertone. You know, that doesn't sound bad why did it fail?

Well, it failed because 7-Up made such a big deal of what it didn't have. It didn't have coloring. It wasn't cola, it was the un-cola. Finally it didn't have any caffeine, 'never had it, never will'.

Oh's DON'T contradict your company's advertising campaign.
Oh's DON'T contradict your company's advertising campaign.

7-Up Gold however looked yellow-brown, tasted something like a weak cola and did have caffeine. So, understandably people said "what the fuck are you trying to pull here?" and ditched the drink faster than a hot chick's fattie friend.

We're not leaving you.  We're just going to go somewhere quiet to talk ok?
We're not leaving you.
We're just going to go somewhere quiet to talk ok?

So did Seven-Up take responsibility? Hell no! Roger Easley, the president of the Seven-Up Bottling Company in San Francisco said "The product was misunderstood by the consumer." How could we misunderstand it? It's not a painting, a novel or a film. It's a drink!

9. Sprite Ice

Sprite Ice

Ok, here's the one that's guaranteed to piss people off. For all it's faults, Sprite Ice actually has a pretty strong following, proving once again that there's no accounting for taste.

Ok, you're trying to make a drink that's more refreshing. So how do you do that. Do you change the chemical composition so that it cools quicker and stays cold for longer periods of time? Do you add electrolytes and water it down so that it quenches thirst better? Or, do you simply just add mint?

Sprite Ice opted for the third option. It's just normal Sprite, with a shit-ton of mint added to it. That's pretty much it.

Satisfied by Sprite Ice or Mr. Freeze's girlfriend after a quickie?
Satisfied by Sprite Ice or Mr. Freeze's girlfriend after a quickie?

The problem is that mint is one of those flavors that sticks with you for a while. So, you get all the refreshing flavor of lemon and lime with a minty aftertaste. It's like cutting your drinks with toothpaste!

So, the Number 9 spot on the list goes to Sprite Ice, the menthol cigarettes of the soda world.

8. Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla

Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla

This is one of those flavors that makes you ask "what the fuck were you thinking?". It's so bad, that you almost have to question the thought process that lead to it. I can imagine a board room filled with executives, discussing the new prospects and trying to come up with that year's big hits.

"Ok, ok ok. Follow me here. People love Cherry Coke right? And Vanilla Coke has been doing pretty well too right? Ok, so here's what we do. We'll take the cherry and we'll mix it with the vanilla, and then we'll sell that! We'll get everybody to love it though!"

"Gee, that's great Jerry, but won't it just taste awful and force people to stick with the Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke that they're already drinking?"

"No! And this is the best part! Oh, shit I'm so clever. Ok, when we release the stuff, we'll stop production of the original cherry and vanilla flavors so people won't have any choice. They'll have to get the new stuff!"

"But isn't that a little transparent? Won't people figure it out?"

"Oh shit you're right. We can't call it Cherry Vanilla Coke. That'll just make people pissed off. We'll need to make it seem cool. I got it! We'll call it Black Cherry Vanilla Coke! Black's cool right?"

"I fucking hate you Jerry."

The equation of doom.

Well, at least that's how I think it happened. Needless to say, cherry lovers didn't like the vanilla and vanilla lovers didn't like the cherry. The drink flopped and was pulled from the shelves the next year and replaced with the original two flavors that had done well in the past.

7. Dr Pepper Red Fusion

Dr Pepper Red Fusion

In 2002, 122 years after releasing their original drink, Dr Pepper decided to try something different. Instead of the brown drink with the unidentifiable, yet quite awesome flavor, this new drink was bright red and tasted like cherries. At least that's what it claimed.

Some people claimed that the drink tasted more like cough syrup than soda. Some people claimed that it tasted exactly the same as the original Dr Pepper. The main problem is that it didn't sell. At all.

Figurative representation of a store's sales of Red Fusion.
Figurative representation of a store's sales of Red Fusion.

Despite some die-hard fans, nobody else was drinking Red Fusion. Some stores were selling six-packs for a couple of bucks, others had 2-liter bottles on for 50 cents.

In the end, not even free samples could convince people to buy it and it was pulled from the shelves, but even though Red Fusion is dead, its legacy might still live on. In early 2009 Dr Pepper released Dr Pepper Cherry, which had a better cherry flavor and no sickening red color.

6. dnL


Ok, now you're wondering "What the fuck is dnL? I've never heard of it!". Well, just turn your monitor upside-down and read again.

Yeah...dnL is another variation of 7-Up. It turns out that they hadn't learned their lesson from Gold and were back for Round Two.

The theme of dnL, and it is a theme, because it's all done in a very cutesy, "look at us, we're being quirky" way, is that it's 7-Up turned on it's head. So, let's take a moment to discuss 7-Up's traditional qualities:

  • It's clear
  • It's lemon-lime flavored
  • It's caffeine-free

dnL addresses each of these in order. Instead of clear, it's a shade of bright green, not too far off from astroturf or a hospital waiting room. Instead of being lemon-lime flavored, it's lime-lemon flavored. I'm serious here. Instead of being predominantly lemon flavored with a hint of lime, it's mostly lime flavored with a touch of lemon. Finally, instead of being caffeine-free, it has 27mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of about 1/3rd of a can of Red Bull.

In a near exact repeat of 7-Up Gold, people just didn't get it. Most must have been left scratching their heads and furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand the subtle humor of dnL. In the end, it was pulled from the shelves and people could get back to buying cans of Mountain Dew instead.

Yeah, kind of like that.
Yeah, kind of like that.

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