How To Tell The Difference Between Coke And Diet Coke Without Tasting It
Servers everywhere, take note.
I am an admitted Coca-Cola fiend. And while I know that the first step to recovery is acceptance, I haven’t quite been able to quit completely. I have finally taught myself to like seltzer, and I’m a long way away from my high school days of five Cokes a day—seriously. Regardless, I only bring this up to illustrate that if someone serves me a Diet Coke instead of the fully-loaded classic version, I will NOT be pleased. Growing up with a mother who feels the exact same way I do about Diet Coke instead of classic, we had to come up with a system to figure out on sight which was which when dining out.
Then I started working as a server in a restaurant in college and through many, many drink orders, I realized something very important—classic Coke is lighter in color than Diet Coke. Observe:
Now it’s obvious to my critical, Coke-loving eye that the soda on the right of this photo is Classic Coke, and the darker soda on the left is Diet Coke. Now, I’ve walked around with this knowledge for years. It has saved me and my dinner companions many upsetting sips of a soda they were not expecting. But I didn’t realize exactly how valuable this hack was until I went to dinner with my boss (another Diet Coke aficionado) last week and I stopped her from drinking the wrong soda with this trick. “That’s a story,” she said. So here we are. Let’s see from another angle:
I had my critics at the Delish office when I said this was a thing. “The Diet Coke just has more ice,” they said. I promise you it doesn’t matter. I have six years professional waitress (and a lifetime of personal) experience to back me up. However, I will offer one caveat to this trick: it’s specific to fountain soda. We tested the soda from bottles and the difference in color is not as apparent. I do have a theory about why: Classic Coke has more carbonation than Diet Coke, therefore it would make sense that it contains more bubbles, especially when in fountain form. More bubbles means less space for the syrup to shine through, which equals a lighter color. This is probably the smartest I’ve ever felt (based on no actual knowledge), so Coca-Cola, if you are ready to hire me as for a fancy job where you need someone to overanalyze your product, I am open to discussions.
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