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Red Bull Cola

by Tim Yu in Food + Drink on 21 August 2008

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From the makers of one of the original energy drinks comes Red Bull Cola, a new cola with a twist. It's the first major brand extension for the company and they're setting it apart from other similar soft drinks and from Red Bull itself by taking pride in being "strong and natural." We were pleasantly surprised by just how different from its cousin it is.

Without taurine or any other secret formula, Red Bull Cola is more about taste than it is about partying all night long. Using all-natural ingredients (the caffeine is even extracted from coffee beans) and plant extracts — including kola nut, cacao, ginger, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, lemon, lime and coca leaf to name a few — it has a complex spiced flavor with that classic cola taste.

Falling somewhere between Pepsi and Coca Cola, it's a bit on the sweet side (though happily it has no high fructose corn syrup) and it reminds me of RC Cola. The carbonated sting is fairly strong but refreshing and followed by a lemon and lime-dominated aftertaste.

While there are always several companies that try to bully their way into the cola market, most fail in the face of the reigning behemoths. But, after becoming slightly obsessed when we first tasted it at a party, we'd wager that Red Bull Cola has some staying power. Naturally, it also allows the brand to further integrate themselves in the club and bar market.

It's already released in parts of Europe and in Las Vegas in the States, but due to the natural ingredients it will be phased in globally. Nonetheless, expect it to hit the shelves of your local grocer sometime later this year or in early 2009. Have a look at the website for more info.

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