June 10, 2014

LeBron James' Sprite 6Mix is too sweet to be good

The middle of the NBA Finals is the perfect time to break out the latest shameless promotional tie-in of the food world, Sprite 6Mix by LeBron James. At least, it's as good a time as any.

Sprite 6Mix is about six times too sweet.
In case you don't watch sports, skip advertisements or haven't been in a convenience store lately, 6Mix is, according to Sprite's promotional language, "the lemon-lime Sprite taste you already know with a twist of cherry and orange flavors." It's a soft drink riff supposedly inspired by James' "favorite way to mix Sprite."

Let's forget about the flavors for a moment and pause to evaluate that last statement. Not only does the best player in the NBA mix Sprite — I'm picturing him in a lab pouring between test tubes instead of at the corner soda fountain passing his drink under various nozzles — he supposedly has a favorite way. And that favorite way is more specific than adding a single fruit, a la Cherry Coke.

It's a wonder he had time to build a good jump shot and excellent post game in these last few years. But he has, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. LeBron James is not only an incredible basketball player, he's an alchemist in the test kitchen.

Except his alchemy could use a little bit of temperance. I cracked open a 20 oz. can of 6Mix only to find my tongue could detect little more than added sweetness. If there's orange, cherry or even lemon-lime in there, they've all melded into a taste best described as sucrose.

6Mix does have a distinct scent from its run-of-the-mill Sprite base. Unfortunately that scent isn't orange or cherry so much as it's Boo Berry. The whole drinking experience seems targeted at the under-10 crowd.

Which, now that I think of it, must be the inspiration for 6Mix's name. It's not derived from James' jersey number. It's the demographic most likely to enjoy 6Mix: 6-year-olds. LeBron's favorite way to mix Sprite isn't for himself. It's for his kids.

Look, LeBron James is an incredible basketball player, one who probably has a few more MVP and NBA Championship trophies to win in his career. But his beverage work's not getting many sporks from this blog. Two out of five.

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