Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Cherry Coke

I’m trying to remember what year Coke introduced Cherry Coke. I could do a web search but that would be too easy. Coke was always available as Cherry Coke back in the day of soda fountains, but they didn’t start putting it in a can until about 1985 or so. There used to be a pretzel shop in the mall where I grew up, and they would make a Cherry Coke for you – they had a pump full of the cherry syrup, and they’d add it to the fountain Coke. I think that approximates the taste of the original soda fountain drink, and it’s very cherry-flavored. The stuff in a can is barely any different than regular Coke, and I remember first trying it at the Elkhart county fair, when I was there with Tom G. and his folks. I think his dad was the kind of guy that had a stockpile of 200,000 cases of “old” Coke when they switched to “new” Coke, and he didnt’ like the Cherry Coke. I didn’t really like it either, but it was one of those things where I was glad I tried it, just so I had a conversation item for future use.

I almost forgot why I started talking about Cherry Coke, and that’s because they changed the can, I guess to be more inline with the new Vanilla Coke, which I still haven’t tried, and probably won’t, because I hate the taste of vanilla. I liked the previous cans better, and it’s weird that I can’t even describe what they’re like. It’s always weird how Coke and Pepsi cans morph over time and you barely notice it. I have pictures from ten years ago and Coke cans look completely fucked up. And they were even more strange in older movies, like when they had the old-school pull-off poptops. Does anyone even remember those anymore? I was collecting them, because I wanted to make a suit of chain-mail armor out of them. I think I got like one line about a foot long. Oh well.

Five new copies of Rumored are on my desk. I’m not sure where they will go, but I need to send out more review copies or something.

Slow afternoon. I need to get back to it…