Nothing can be certain except death, taxes, and that soda brands will release dozens of new flavors every year. If you’re into trying new carbonated bevs, 2023 was a good year. Coke became obsessed with releasing new varieties based on abstract concepts rather than actual flavors. Pepsi discontinued one lemon lime soda only to come out with another lemon lime soda, seemingly just for the controversy of it all. And Mtn Dew did what Mtn Dew does, and released what felt like a new flavor every month. We may not have tried every new soda that came out this year, but we tried a lot. Here they all are.
No single beverage caused more controversy this year than Starry, a new lemon lime soda from Pepsi that replaced the recently discontinued Sierra Mist. Turns out people really, really liked Sierra Mist because it was made with real cane sugar; Starry, on the other hand, is made with high fructose corn syrup. Frankly, we don’t think Starry is half bad.
Read the full review of Starry
We were less impressed with Starry Zero, the diet version of the new Pepsi lemon lime soda. Instead of tasting like sugar-free Starry, it tastes like a different soda altogether. Honestly, it might actually be better for people who hate Starry than people who love it.
Read the full review of Starry Zero
Dr Pepper Strawberries & Cream
If you ask my colleague Jordan Myrick, Dr Pepper is a totally perfect soda and any attempts to improve upon its original formula are futile. Or maybe you really, really like fake strawberry flavor? If so, you may like Dr. Pepper Strawberries & Cream.
In March, Coke released its latest “Creations” flavor, a collab with Spanish pop star Rosalia. Right off the bat, this stuff was confusing. It’s called “Move” and it purports to be “transformation” flavored. What does that mean? We may never know! Coca-Cola explained that the flavor mixes the “familiar Coca-Cola taste with both bold and delicate flavors.” Not helpful. The best we could do was “maybe cotton candy?”
Read the full review of Coca-Cola Move
Olipop Lemon Lime
Prebiotic sparkling bev brand Olipop has a lot of classic soda flavors in its lineup, from cola to root beer, but it wasn’t until this year that they released a lemon lime flavor. And it’s good, even if it doesn’t really taste all that much like lemon lime soda.
Read the full review of Olipop Lemon Lime
Olipop Watermelon Lime
Other watermelon sodas surely exist, but Olipop Watermelon Lime succeeds in tasting like actual watermelon rather than watermelon candy. This was one of my personal favorite new sodas to come out this year.
Mtn Dew Summer Freeze
Among the new Mtn Dew flavors to hit grocery and convenience stores was the three-in-one summertime flavor, Summer Freeze. Summer Freeze was meant to channel a Bomb Pop, bringing together cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry flavors in one violently blue beverage. It didn’t totally hit the mark for us, but if you’re into sweet sodas, it was a pretty fun variation on a citrus soda everyone loves.
Read the full review of Mtn Dew Summer Freeze
This Coca-Cola Creations flavor was created as a collab with the video game franchise League of Legends, and we truly could not put a finger on the flavor profile. Maybe it’s watermelon? Maybe fruit punch? Either way, we weren’t totally impressed and decided this one was pretty much for Coke completionists alone.
Read the full review of Coca-Cola Ultimate
Sprite Legacy Lymonade
Hip-hop turned 50 this year, and in honor of the milestone, Sprite released a strawberry version of its popular Lymonade. Unfortunately, we didn’t think it lived up to the occasion. (Personally, I thought it tasted kind of like Pez.)
Read the full review of Sprite Legacy Lymonade
Olipop Ginger Ale
If you’re an Olipop fan, their new ginger ale is a total gift. It tastes like ginger ale mixed with ginger beer mixed with fresh ginger juice. It even has some apple-y sweetness from quince juice. If you’ve been considering getting on the prebiotic soda train, this is a good place to start.
Read the full review of Olipop Ginger Ale
Jones Soda’s Halloween Collection
Jones Soda will always remind me of the ‘90s, but they’re still making big moves in 2023. In October, they released four new sodas: Blood Sucker, Zombie Juice, Werewolf Piss, and the less whimsically named Orange Chocolate. They were all pretty good, but the green apple-flavored Zombie Juice stood out as a fave.