Coca-Cola’s Starlight flavor didn’t take me to a new galaxy, but I enjoyed it nonetheless


The bright display and fancy label of Coca-Cola’s new Starlight flavor

Starlight: the light that comes from stars.

Knowing this simple definition of the word compounding burning balls of gas in the galaxy with the radiance from them, I struggled to understand how “starlight” could be a flavor. Supposedly, the name was inspired by Coca-Cola’s appearance as one of the first soft drinks in space.

This exact inquiry was all the buzz in the cafeteria as Coca-Cola’s new Starlight flavor appeared as a selection among the other Coke products on the shelves. Why choose something as boring as regular Coke or the slightly more interesting Cherry Coke when there was the opportunity to taste Starlight? The curiosity was too much to resist.

It was an almost comical sight as my twin sister, Tara, poured the drink into the outstretched spoons of our table mates. According to Tara, “There was an immersive feeling with the taste of fireside marshmallows and cotton candy, creating a revelation in every sip.”

As each friend offered their input and reaction to their first sips, I was amazed by how differently it impacted each of them. After all, I think that a new flavor is best experienced with a group of people to make sense of the strange combination of ingredients.

Why choose something as boring as regular Coke or the slightly more interesting Cherry Coke when there was the opportunity to taste Starlight?”

— Lauren Brace

“It’s new, innovative, and a bit wacky,” my friend Maya said after she had a spoonful. “I feel as though I need more, just to make sure what I tasted was correct. There were so many different flavors competing all at once, but not necessarily in a bad way.”

With this blend of flavors, it’s undeniable that Coca-Cola succeeded in creating an innovative and new sensation. The taste that everyone knows from the product was there but with a sweet twist. 

Due to its unique nature, it’s impossible to define the flavor as something as simple as cherry or vanilla; instead, the most prominent flavor to me was cotton candy. While some thought of roasting marshmallows under the stars, I failed to imagine the lightweight feeling of space.

Instead, I felt like I was at a carnival—immersing myself in the unique atmosphere, going on the same rides that bring back childhood nostalgia, and eating food that makes my tastebuds tingle with sugar. This sweet spark leaves the basics of cherry, orange, and lime, creating a mystery that leaves the consumer wondering if the next sip will taste entirely different from the last.

Even though the flavor may not fully capture the vision of “starlight,” I’d definitely recommend the limited-edition drink to taste such an exotic piquancy. 

I’m excited for the opportunity to try the Starlight version again; however, I’m even more excited to hear the opinions and reactions of others as they discover the combination of the famous drink and cotton candy. 

The ingredient label doesn’t suggest any of the natural flavors that were added, but with how well the combination turned out, I may even risk trying their coffee blended beverages next. No matter where the Coca-Cola Starlight path leads me, I have certainly enjoyed the journey.