Find: Mini “World of Coke” at Moe’s

Coke Zero Selections

Back in the skating rink days, we went crazy with the fountain drink station mixing up “suicides,” the oh-so-worldly drink made of a lever push from every possible available soda flavor: Coke, Fanta, Dr. Pepper and the hard stuff, Mellow Yellow.

Fountain drink nirvana has arrived. Now we have an interactive beverage dispenser that offers over 100 versions of Coca-Cola products, and need I say that the 100 combinations do not account for possible custom mash-ups such as Vanilla Coke plus Raspberry Sprite? It’s a minaiture “World of Coke” exhibit right here in Birmingham, first noticed at the Hoover Moe’s on Lorna Road.

Essentially, you start by choosing your “base” Coke, Diet Coke, Mr. Pibb, etc. and each of those offers added flavors like lime, vanilla, cherry, etc. The machine mixes carbonated water and your syrups right into your drink, and there you go, a virtual old-time soda jerk.

I see why the kids think this machine is the coolest thing ever, and it is impressive. For an old school suicide mixer, I’m surprised to be less enthusiastic.

  • Sigh…another digital interface. Like all digital interacions, if you aren’t quick enough with your selection, the screen goes back to square one and you have to start over. No time to marvel. And remember, your first screen decision begins with regular/diet and caffeinated/decaffeinated. 
  • The old suicides were limited to five possible beverage ingredients, and that seemed sufficient as there were literally only five possible flavors to be had in the world (not including your mom’s Tab).  Of course, mixing them all together rendered an indistinctive beverage, but who cared? The point was to feel daring and unconventional.
  • How ironic – Coke ZERO now has EIGHT options.
  • My regular Diet Coke had the slightest hint of lime, perhaps residual from the previous patron’s lime flavored choice. I recommend running a brief cleanser shot of your beverage through the machine before you fill your cup.
  • This machine might complicate the time-honored exploitation of sending your kid to fetch your refill.
  • If the trend of customized soda flavors continues, how are we ever to properly prepare for company? It’s hard enough to have a pleasing assortment of beverages now.

All the same, this machine makes for unexpected fun, especially for older kids who can appreciate a soda treat. I would recommend it for a novelty excursion with the kids, knowing interacive soda machines are bound to become commonplace and make this post quaint in no time.

So long forever, Coke Classic.