Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A soda fountain for the iPad generation: Coke's Freestye machines dazzle

I'm a Coke guy. I hate it when you order a Coke at a restaurant and the server responds, "Is Pepsi okay?" No, Pepsi is not okay, although I always oblige. But when it comes to ordering a rum and Coke, I put my foot down. Rum and Pepsi is not okay. That's gross.

Okay, so I'm a Coke guy. That being said, I am absolutely enamored with the new touchscreen Coca-Cola Freestyle machines popping up at restaurants across Orlando.

You'll find them at Firehouse Subs, Pei Wei and Burger King locations, to name a few. They are all kind of awesome and seem so futuristic - even after multiple uses. There's never been anything like them. They're so 2012. To find one near you, visit the Coca-Cola Freestyle website.

A normal Coca-Cola fountain machine will usually serve up Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr Pepper or Pibb Extra (Mr. Pibb to me and you), somethimes Barq's Root Beer and maybe Fanta Orange or some kind of iced tea. That's it. But what if you're in the mood for Mello Yellow, or Mellow Yellow Zero, or even grape-flavored Mellow Yellow Zero? Or how about a peach-flavored Sprite, or a even an Orange Coke? The choice is yours when you stand before a Freestyle machine.

I recently stopped by a local Firehouse Subs to grab a bite and to whip up some unusual soda concoctions. I went for half Raspberry Coke and half Tropical Punch Fanta. Pure, sweet goodness. My dining companion, weird as ever, decided to try what he called a Coke "Kamikazee," combining regular Coke, Cherry Coke, Cherry Vanilla Coke, Lime Coke, Vanilla Coke, Raspberry Coke and Orange Coke all in one cup. Bonsai!

For the sensible among us, and elementary school graduates, Coke Freestyle machines also offer less-sweet alternatives like flavored Dasani waters, light lemonades, and multiple diet and zero sugar options. Exclusively at Firehouse, the machine dispenses a Cherry Limeade that is good stuff.

I'm looking forward to the installation of these amazing, futuristic soda machines at even more restaurants. They make drinking soda fun and futuristic.

It's 2012, and we never got our jet pack, robot, or flying car, but we did get one hell of a soda machine.

Warning, not for the faint of heart: Watch in amazement as a Freestyle machine dispenses a Coke "suicide."

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