I'm an addict. I'd say I was an addict, but we all know addiction is a lifetime struggle, no matter how long you've been on the wagon. My drug of choice? Diet Coke. Oh, how I love that syrupy sweet nectar of the gods. Too bad for me and all the other Diet Cokeheads out there, if you're going to drink Diet Coke you might as well be knocking back a nice cold can of poison. I knew this when I was drinking cans (plural!) of my favorite brand of poison a day, but I was like, "Whatever. I don't shoot up heroin, so I should be allowed one dangerous vice, right?" But then I was diagnosed with a sugar allergy and found out aspartame was one of my migraine triggers, and there went my Diet Coke habit.
I've been fine without it, for the most part. I drink a lot of water and get my bubbly drink fix from La Croix (my preferred flavor is grapefruit). But for the past few weeks I'd been feeling this urge to drink Diet Coke. Not an urge. A craving. No, a NEED. I had Diet Coke on the brain and there was no shaking it. I even contemplated drinking a real Diet Coke and just dealing with the painful cosequences, but then I remembered I live a mile from Whole Foods and they would surely have some kind of all-natural solution. It was at least worth a look-see.
I'd like to take this opportunity to add that I am aware that there are lots of stevia-sweetened pops out there (and yes, I'm from the midwest and I say pop because THAT'S WHAT IT'S CALLED), but I am one of many people that can't tolerate stevia. It gives me a tummyache that basically feels like I'm being murdered. I read somewhere, in a source that I now can't find, or course, that something like 30% of people have negative reactions to stevia - so watch out if you're considering jumping on the stevia train. After eliminating the regular sugar-sweetened and stevia-sweetened pop options (poptions!) I was left with two agave-sweetened coke alternatives. I chose Q Kola because, frankly, the packaging was prettier and while it was more expensive, my dad told me he'd buy my groceries that week, so I was in Supermarket Sweep mode.
I haven't had Diet Coke in like a year, so the taste isn't all that fresh in my mind, but, taking that into account, I have to say: Q Kola tastes JUST like the real thing. Maybe even better, since this delicious elixir won't rot your insides. It's made with simple, understandable ingredients and is sweetened with agave. Plus, there are only 70 calories in a bottle! Sure, that's more than Diet Coke, but again I direct you to the drinking straight poison analogy. I had a Q Kola with some Amy's Pizza Rolls the other day and it was almost as if I was eating pizza and Coke like one of you normals. It was so beautiful, I almost shed a tear.
The only bummer about Q Kola is that it's pricy. At my Whole Foods the price per 8oz bottle is about $2. That's like ten times as much as a can of Delicious Diet Poison. And since Dear Ol' Dad isn't the type to let me rack up an expensive pop tab (pop tab! Haha! Puns!) on his credit card, I'll probably be saving Q Kola for those times when I've got an undeniable hankering for some sodee-pop. But hey, the fact that I can even satisfy my need for Coke at all without destroying my body is a miracle in itself. All hail Q Kola!
PS: Q also makes tonic, club soda, and ginger ale, if that's how you swing swig.
Q Kola: $8 for four 8oz bottles