Milk Coke: another classic from the nation that invented Cheeky Vimto

The idea of ending things on a high always seems like a wasted opportunity to me. Like playing My Way at a funeral when you could play All By Myself and make everyone cry. It’s over, who cares about dignity? You’ve broken up, steal the lightbulbs when you move out.

The faddy eater column is coming to an end and while I genuinely did plan to eat something new, baked and delicious, I felt more compelled to have something so singularly foul – yet faddy! – that while you, the reader, might forget this column, I never would. A sort of gastronomic tattoo. Something I could take to my grave.

Like most bad things, I found Milk Coke on Twitter, from feed of the comedy writer James Felton. Milk Coke is exactly that. Milk and Coca-Cola, mixed together and drunk. It is apparently a thing in Birmingham, and not the first of its kind; a quick search sent me down a wormhole of other milk and fizz combinations, including my personal favourite, Bena milk, which is Ribena mixed with milk instead of water.

I don’t doubt the veracity of Milk Coke, and nor do the retweets, but as with any meme-able content it’s sensible to put it to the floor. I asked three residents of Birmingham whether they had drunk it, and received three responses: “No, sounds gross”, “Oh my God, not heard of it, maybe I should try it” and the succinct: “God. No.”

The nature of newspaper deadlines means I have to try this out in the morning. I line my stomach with avocado on toast, because this is the Guardian, and scan the “recipe” on Twitter. The majority suggest adding milk first, then Coca-Cola; to keep it broad I also try it with Diet Coke and Coke Zero. The fridge isn’t working, so the cola is room temperature; to keep the experiment controlled I allow the Diet Coke and Coke Zero to warm in the early spring sun. Only the independent variable, the milk, remains chilled. I use organic, partly because, again, this is the Guardian, but mainly because some things should remain sacred. In between each drink, I sip water to cleanse my palate.

What can I say? I don’t vomit. I consider it, especially with the Diet Coke version, which is so excessively sweet it’s probably not far off colostrum (minutes later, I spot a migraine hovering on the the horizon), but I hold it it together. Equally, though, it’s not as terrible as it sounds. Close your eyes and it could be Nesquik. I leave the dregs on my desk to get lunch. When I return, it has separated. I suspect I’ve been had.

This is the same nation that birthed the Cheeky Vimto (port, WKD blue) and snakebite (lager, cider, blackcurrant cordial), and we are the generation that risked death eating Tide Pods. We are more than capable of twinning society’s greatest ills, dairy and sugar, for content. Small mercy, I think, that there was no Pepsi in the canteen.


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