Coca-Cola's New Spiced Flavor Is Not Actually Spicy

Even though "spiced" and "spicy" clearly come from the same root word, these similar-sounding adjectives have slightly different connotations. The former word can be applied to something flavored with any kind of spice, as in "cinnamon-spiced coffee," while in colloquial English the latter tends to mean something that has some heat to it, implying that the spice in question might be a chile pepper or something similar. While not all dictionaries make this distinction clear, the Cambridge Dictionary at least defines "spicy" as "containing strong flavors from spices," and the example sentences it gives all seem to indicate that the spices in question aren't the milder ones such as cloves, cumin, or nutmeg.

The Coca-Cola company may have had this subtle difference in mind when it named its new Coca-Cola Spiced and Coca-Cola Spiced Zero. While we don't have any definitive word on what spices these beverages contain, the predominant flavor of the drink (besides cola) seems to be that of raspberry. Interestingly enough, a preview of the product packaging given at last year's National Association of Convenience Stores trade show indicated that Coca-Cola Spiced would be available in both regular and raspberry flavors. However, at least for now, it seems the company has decided to release just two versions, regular and zero sugar, both of which are flavored with raspberry along with some unnamed spice(s). As Coca-Cola describes its new product as "not spicy" to Mashed in a press release, it's a pretty safe bet that whatever spices are used in Spiced won't be of the incendiary variety.

When and where can you find Coca-Cola spiced?

So, how will we ever know what the mystery spice(s) may be? Well, we might have to try it for ourselves and take our best guess, since Coke's been all about mystery flavors in recent years. Such was the case with last year's gamer-inspired "Ultimate," after all, as well as the enigmatic Coca-Cola Move, the taste of which baffled the entire internet (or a portion of its users, at least). The soonest we'll be able to get our hands on Coca-Cola Spiced is February 19, just in time for any Presidents' Day festivities you may have planned. This is two days after another Coca-Cola release: a slightly salty drink called Happy Tears.

If you'll be keeping an eye out for Spiced when it hits store shelves, you'll know it by its pink-striped packaging. It'll be available in 12-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles as well as 12-packs of 12-ounce cans. You'll also be able to buy the full-sugar variety in 10-packs of mini cans, two-liter bottles, and half-liter six-packs. The price should be comparable to any other variety of Coke.

One thing to note about Coca-Cola Spiced is that there's no need to rush right out and buy it before it disappears from store shelves. It's actually going to be part of the brand's permanent lineup, which means it'll be around until ... whenever the company decides to discontinue it, which may be months or years from now or possibly (but probably not) never.