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As a bonus, we tasted the relatively new Sprite Green, also made by the geniuses at Coca-Cola. Sprite Green comes in the same size/shape aluminum bottle as Vio, and claims “50% fewer calories than regular sodas,” and that it’s naturally sweetened. This part of the Taste Test was Chicago-only—and not terribly exciting, as you’ll see.

The taste: Results varied, which is certainly better news than the expected all-around “yuck.” The most common reaction to Vio was that it basically tastes like sugary yogurt seriously watered down with seltzer. The Citrus Burst is remarkably sour, and seems destined to be the clear loser of this lot: These tiny bottles are as sugary as regular soda (26g in 8 ounces; compare that to 39g in a 12-ounce can of Coke), so there’s no reason they should be anything other than sweet. Very Berry didn’t fare a lot better, but it’s definitely slightly more pleasant. Peach Mango and Tropical Colada are both fine, with not-great aftertastes. But here’s the really bad news, Coca-Cola: Even the tasters who found Vio fairly pleasant agreed that they’d never want to drink a whole bottle, and that they certainly wouldn’t pay more than two bucks for it if they did. (That website and Twitter campaign must be expensive!)

Since we tasted Vio on a Friday, and because ad-ops genius Anne happened to have a bottle of Maker’s Mark in her desk, we decided to try adding it to the Vio. The results were strange: Vio completely removed the burn of the whiskey, and the combination didn’t taste bad, either. Tropical Colada didn’t mix well with whiskey at all, but we should’ve seen that coming and had some rum handy. Alas. But overall, Vio didn’t do much for anybody, with or without spirits to enhance it. What were you thinking, Vio? This is way too unhealthy and empty for the Activia crowd, not nearly tasty enough to enjoy on any sort of 12-pack-a-week basis. What focus group was totally fucking with you when they filled out their comment cards?

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Sprite Green… Let’s just say it’s a good thing we didn’t give it its own Taste Test. It tastes like Sprite with lemon juice added, which is unsurprising because that’s exactly what it is. Each 8-ounce bottle has just 50 calories, which is a minor reduction from normal Sprite, and there’s no high-fructose corn syrup (take that, Bill Maher!) involved. It’d do in a pinch, but I feel like the market for reduced-calorie soda isn’t really there. It’s all or nothing, people. Just ask Oprah—dinner is either a protein shake, or an entire package of Oreos. We have no use for anything in between.

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Office reactions

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Where to get it: Vio is only in NYC, baby, perhaps at your favorite bodega. Viovibe.com can also point you to a nearby NY location.