The sudden appearance of flavored colas like Creamy Coconut Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola Spice on grocery store shelves feels like significant Utah erasure to me. Utah is the birthplace of the “dirty soda,” and we’ve been drinking it by the gallon since the early 2010s. It’s likely the first and only dirty trend we’ll ever set, and it’s one Utahns take great pride in claiming as our own.

Dirty soda, typically flavored with syrup and sometimes a splash of half-and-half — or if you’re feeling fancy, a fruit puree — is sold on nearly every street corner in the state. Swig, Sodalicious, Thirst and other standalone shacks specialize in this delicacy, but even gas stations now offer flavored syrups and citrus slices for patrons to dirty their own drinks.

The trend has its detractors, as all trends do. I’ve had to endure far too many sanctimonious TikTok videos from out-of-town visitors who try a dirty Diet Coke, make a disgusted face, and decry the unholy union of soda and dairy. But now, a slew of new soda flavors from Coke and Dr Pepper prove that we were right all along: The people really do want a little more pizzazz in their carbonated beverages.

I just wish we were getting the credit. Instead, it feels like being the first kid in school to wear a new style, getting lightly bullied for it, and then a year later, all the other kids are wearing it while everyone forgets you were the first. So I’m here to remind the nation that we made this a thing.

And I’m also here to try a few of the new mass-produced varieties and see how they compare to a good ol’ fashioned Dirty Diet Coke on the (pebble) rocks, sipped through a straw, as is the higher way.

One important caveat: Every soda I tried was of the diet or zero-sugar variety. I do not have the stomach for, and do not like the taste of, full-sugar soda. The full-sugar versions of the following drinks may have a completely different flavor profile. For those, you’re on your own.

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Creamy Coconut Dr Pepper

Earlier this month, Dr. Pepper released a “creamy coconut” version that “brings together the perfect combination of the original 23 Dr Pepper flavors with layers of tropical coconut flavor and a delicious, creamy finish.”

I really wanted to hate this since it feels like the most blatant rip-off of my people’s signature drink — the dirty Diet Coke with coconut syrup and half-and-half. I wanted to report that it tastes like cheap sunscreen and that the Dr Pepper people should be ashamed of what they’ve done.

But this drink is delicious. It tastes how golden hour on a tropical island feels. It’s like the lightest, fluffiest coconut cake without any cloying sweetness. It’s what I bet water in heaven tastes like.

Will drink it again, unfortunately. Probably a lot.

Strawberries & Cream Dr Pepper

According to Dr Pepper, the strawberry-flavored drink, which has been available since 2023, is the “original 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper swirled with layers of refreshing strawberry flavor and a smooth, creamy finish.” It sounds suspiciously similar to the description of the Creamy Coconut Dr Pepper, but who among us hasn’t employed copy-and-paste when writing copy?

This is not as delicious as its coconut counterpart. It tastes like drinking a Dr Pepper too soon after applying half a tube of strawberry Lip Smackers. It’s not the worst, but I wouldn’t opt for it over a plain old cola.

Will not voluntarily drink again.

Coca-Cola Spice

Coca-Cola Spice has been available since February, and I think I’m the second, maybe third, person in America to try it. Coca-Cola says the drink “blends the traditional Coke flavor with raspberry and spiced flavors.”

This is the worst. There’s a reason raspberry and spice isn’t a well-known combination — it doesn’t work. This tastes like a melted Yankee Candle. After the first sip, I physically recoiled. After the second sip, I involuntarily yelled “Blech.” It tastes worse than when I was a kid and would fill my soda cup with every variety of soda. It’s like one of those mixes with a stick of Big Red gum dropped in. The aftertaste lingers for hours.

Would rather be critically dehydrated than drink again.

I guess Oscar Wilde was right when he said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” I certainly won’t turn down the next Coconut Dr Pepper that is offered to me, but in the end, nothing beats one of our original dirty sodas with a crisp Diet Coke and fresh lime. That will always be ours.