Coca-Cola is many things. It's sweet and it's spiced, boasting nuances of vanilla and a tiny hint of cinnamon. It's also rich but refreshing, coating tastebuds in decadence before a myriad of bubbles work to cleanse the palate. Despite the fact that every bottle boasts a fair degree of depth, that doesn't stop us from looking for ways to make Coca-Cola even better. Luckily, Italians have cracked the code to upgrading the soda — just add some lemon juice.
The combination of Coke and lemon is nothing new in Italy, nor is it necessarily groundbreaking in other parts of Europe. However, the tip has recently been trending following a viral TikTok that shows one creator demonstrating how Italians prefer to enjoy (and enhance) the soda with the help of the zesty ingredient. Essentially, all you need to do is to squeeze a lemon wedge into an ice-filled glass before topping it with Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or even Diet Coke. The result? A better-tasting sip, of course.
While ice and lemon are enough to render any beverage more refreshing, when it comes to Coca-Cola, the reason for adding tangy lemon is tenfold. Along with imparting another layer of complexity, a splash of citrus also enhances the other flavors present in the soda. Plus, the crisp acidity can even cut through the cloying sweetness of the soda for a more balanced sip.
The Italian Affinity For Lemons Knows No Bounds
Italians are big fans of serving Coke with lemon, so much so that The Coca-Cola Company developed a product called Coca‑Cola Gusto Limone for the Italian market. But, if you're wondering how this pairing came to be in the first place, the answer actually stems from a few possible reasons.
Firstly, there's no coming between an Italian and their love of lemons. Given that the Mediterranean climate provides ideal growing conditions for citrus, the fruits have become a huge part of the country's culture. Long revered for their incredible fragrance and equally impressive flavor, tart and vibrant lemons can be used in an array of classic Italian dishes, both sweet and savory. A frequently used ingredient, it's no wonder that Italians have even managed to work lemons into a beverage like Coca-Cola.
Aside from an apparent fondness for citrus, it's worth noting that adding lemon to Coca-Cola might also have something to do with the Italian preference for bitter flavors. A splash of sour and mouth-puckering citrus is the perfect way to customize the soda's level of sweetness, allowing for increased desired astringency to shine through. Likewise, incorporating lemon could also just be another way for Italians to add another dimension of flavor to less vibrant soda as Coke recipes are known to vary across the globe. Whatever the reason, pairing Coke and lemon just make sense. So, do as the Italians and get squeezing!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.