An Orange Coke and a Smile


Based on the lines forming at Coke Freestyle machines around the city, you’d think the bright-red boxes were dispensing gold coins instead of Orange Diet Coke and Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. The touch-screen design lets you choose from 22 drinks and then add a flavor, resulting in new sodas like Grape Mello Yello, Raspberry Lime Hi-C, and Heidi Klum’s choice—not to mention a test of patience while the person in front of you tries in vain to create a Freestyle suicide. The machine holds inkjet printer cartridges of flavorings—not syrups—that add up to more than 100 choices and so much time gleefully considering your options that your food might get cold. Called “the Ferrari of coke machines” (because the case was conceived by a company that designs Ferraris), the Freestyle is charming local soda swillers at Firehouse Subs, Pita Pits, Burger Kings, Moe’s Southwest Grills, and the Pei Wei at Glendale. Just do everyone a favor and figure out what you want to drink before you go out.