These Simple Additions Will Take Your Coca-Cola To The Next Level

By now, we are all well aware that sodas like Coke and Pepsi are not exactly the healthiest beverages. For many of us, these sweet and fizzy drinks remain a sort of treat — a little indulgence, a sugar kick, a cool-down on a hot day. The whole allure of any treat, however, quickly fades if you have become bored with it. Maybe a Coca-Cola is your favorite thing to pair with a burger, or a reward after a hard day at work. You want it to still feel exciting and like something you can still look forward to. If you have started to fall into the Coke doldrums, however, consider a few different options for totally sprucing up your soft drink ritual.

One way to go is the cocktail route if you want to turn your Coke into an adult beverage. Food52 points out that a classic partner to Coke is rum, usually topped off with a bit of fresh lime. This is known as the Cuba Libre, or "free Cuba," and it was born after the Spanish-American War, writes Old Liquors Magazine. Cuba won its independence, and through its relationship with the United States, Coca-Cola entered the scene right in time for Cuba's celebrations. They created the rum-and-coke drink named for their new status. If rum isn't your favorite, though, any spirit could work. Jack Daniels and Coke is another classic mix in the US (via Taste Atlas), and in Spain, there's the kalimoxto, red wine and Coke (per VinePair). However, there are plenty of booze-free ways to quite literally spice up your Coke experience.

Get inspired by masala Coke

In India, there is a long-standing tradition featuring masala soda, writes NPR. Just as people might gather at bars, people gather at soda shops and vendors to choose from a wide selection of sodas flavored with different herbs and spices — masala simply means "many spices," according to The Spruce Eats. A soda could involve something as basic as white salt, black salt, and cumin, or could really get complex with many different spices and dried fruit powders, NPR explains. The key ingredient is the black salt, which gives the soda a pungent flavor.

It's irresistibly easy to use this approach to seriously up your Coca-Cola game, according to Food52. In fact, it's become trendy to make masala soda with Coke, in particular, chef Cheetie Kumar told the site, explaining that on a recent India trip, "all the hip restaurants were serving masala Coke." Both Food52 and Times of India have recipes. Basically, you are simply adding black salt, chaat masala, chopped cilantro or coriander leaves, and ice to you Coke. Chaat masala is a mix of amchoor (or dried mango powder), cumin, coriander, black salt, asafetida (like Indian MSG), and chili powder, and you can find it on sites like Amazon, says Bon Appetit.

Apparently, adding some kind of salty factor to Coke is a game-changer, Kumar says, and Food52 even offers a recipe that sounds super unexpected but could magically become your new favorite: add lemon juice, maple syrup, and soy sauce. With so many options, we cannot wait to get crafty with our next sodas.