SocietyMade possible by

The Spinoff reviews New Zealand #46: the new Coke Raspberry

We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today, the Spinoff’s resident youths Madeleine Chapman and Don Rowe try out the latest summer beverage.

Don: So it turns out Coke events are a lot like Coke advertisements – beautiful people standing around just generally stoked about living a life in conjunction with Coke. “Open a bottle of happiness today!!!” But hey, there’s a lot to be happy about right? New flavour, world exclusive, less sugar, etc etc, some other shit.

Madeleine: They served it in a glass with ice but because we were late, the ice had melted and we ended up drinking a cold, watery version of Coke Raspberry. They were serving Coke floats which I desperately wanted but because it was a warm day I couldn’t consume dairy or I’d get an allergic reaction. My weak immune system meant the event wasn’t going well for me.

When we left with our admittedly generous goodie bags, we made sure to take enough warm cans and bottles to accommodate some further scientific taste testing.

A fancy display for a fizzy drink (Image: Madeleine Chapman)

What they won’t tell you is what grog goes best with the new drop. So we took our goodie bags up the road to Western Park, poured a generous nip into our complimentary cups, and had a bit of a sunny sesh.

Jack Daniels is in my opinion firmly beneath the bar that necessitates drinking your whiskey straight. There’s no shame in spicing it up with a bit of the fizzy stuff. Stick to original recipe here however – the acrid ethanol notes of the whiskey do not pair well with the downright saccharine raspberry special.

I haven’t got into vodka since overindulging as a young buck and splitting me dome on a park bench, so no comment there.

I took one for the team and added a drop (read: large shot) of Absolut to my special complimentary Coke glass. It was okay. The problem with mixing anything with vodka is it just tastes like the mixer and then a second later it tastes like pure vodka. It was fine, though, and I’d happily drink one if it was free like this one was.

Cans (Image: Madeleine Chapman)

Where the new coke truly shines however is when it’s mixed with a liberal splashing of a delicious rum, in this case Kraken. There’s nothing high-brow about this particular cocktail, especially not sipped through a paper straw in public, but mate she tastes pretty bloody good.

It’s the rum mix that’ll be the key to this drink’s success. I don’t even like rum and yet I have some raspberry rum plans pencilled in for the summer.

Verdict: Despite its quality, it will never be as beloved as a raspberry Coke mix from Burger King

Good or bad: Good

P.s. Drink responsibly.


The Society section is sponsored by AUT. As a contemporary university we’re focused on providing exceptional learning experiences, developing impactful research and forging strong industry partnerships. Start your university journey with us today.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.