Many millennials and Gen Xers remember Red Bull from their catchy, animated commercials and their intentional misspelling of their catchprhase “Red bull gives you wiings”. Red Bull was one of the “original” energy drinks before the market become so crowded that just about every beverage maker started filling convenience store coolers.
Red Bull certainly has a unique flavor and brand. Some athletes drink it out of large dark blue cans for the sugared variety and others might enjoy the smaller, light blue cans of sugar free.
While Red Bull now has many varieties, the original flavor can be described as citrus and sweet or sour, really depending in part on who you ask!
So, what does it taste like?
Red Bull’s flavor is very original and unique. It’s actually difficult to describe the taste after drinking it the first time. While it almost sounds like we are talking about wine, Red Bull has a floral and citrus taste. We are referring to the original drink here, of course.
To give it better comparisons, Red Bull has been compared to liquid candy, bubble gum candy, and liquid sweet tarts. The sugared version is of course sweeter with 27g of sugar, which is a lot of an energy drink.
It’s also been said to taste like guarana, which isn’t a surprise, consider that it’s one of the main ingredients.
Red Bull was also rumored to include bull sperm with their taurine. Red Bull claims that their guarana and taurine are partially syntethic, so you are not drinking any bull sperm.
Is there a difference between sugar free and sugared?
There is a big difference. Red Bull sugar free tastes less sweet. The sugar has less ability to mask the taste of the minerals and caffine used to perk you up, so you taste them a bit more.
Some say that Red Bull sugar free tastes more “artificial” for attempting to mask the taste of some of the things that contribute to wakefulness and energy. Others say it tastes like Diet Coke compared to regular Coke – just lighter.
What does it taste like in alcohol?
You’ve probably heard that Red Bull and alcohol go together, especially on college campuses and bars. Red Bull is a stimulant and definitely an “upper” while the alcohol provides a depressant or relaxant.
Red Bull is most commonly mixed with vodka (you could probably walk into a bar right now and order a Red Bull and Vodka and it’d be about the easiest drink the bartender makes).
The addition of alcohol obvious changes the flavor, so it really depends on what kind of drink you order. Most people choose a fruitier vodka or alcohol, including peach schnapps, to enhance the floral taste of Red Bull.
The combination makes the alcohol easier to drink without the burning throat sensation and makes the Red Bull quite a bit different since it doesn’t contain alcohol.
What other flavors does Red Bull come in?
So the energy market has become much more competitive in the last decade, and Red Bull has responded by producing many different flavors. These especially colorful cans stand out in the cooler because they have a unique shape and size compared to other energy drinks like Monster or RockStar. While energy drinks like Monster and RockStar have big, wide cans, Red Bull cans start off skinnier. The art is also more subtle to many eyes.
But on to the mountain of new flavors
- Red Bull Cola: Red Bull Cola is no longer widely available in the US. It was subtle and not very sweet, and had a more caramel flavor like that of cola. You’ll also notice Coca Cola itself attempting to make energy drinks to garner interest from those who like the taste of cola with more energy.
- Yellow edition: This was a pineapple flavor that was relatively popular with customers for it’s sweet tanginess.
- Orange: If you don’t like pineapple, orange might better suit for your tongue for sweet citrus.
- Grapefruit: While you might not expect the normally sour grapefruit to work for an energy drink, it certainly does with the right amount of sweet balance.
- Blue: Blueberry, in a soft drink? It tastes better than it sounds.
- Red: Cranberry! This actually makes a popular mix with alcohol as it already tastes like a cranberry vodka Red Bull mix, without the alcohol.
- Coconut berry: In a white can, this is a cross between berry and coconut. The flavor could be described as Airhead candy in a blue raspberry flavor.
- Silver: Amongst the worst ranked Red Bull flavor was lime. Red Bull is fruit, but lime tasted even more metallic.
- Purple: The flavoring in purple came from Acai. This was not a very popular flavor, as most Americans are generally unfamiliar with the flavor of Acai, which in itself isn’t strong.
Notice a trend here? Red Bull decided to choose colors or flavor specific names, like Monster and other energy drink makers did.
What does it smell like?
Red Bull smells rather citrusy and floral, with the addition of whichever flavor is mixed in above.
Is it carbonated?
Red Bull is lightly carbonated, so it will feel a bit bubbly in your mouth and going down. Red Bull doesn’t really need more carbonation like a Sprite or Sierra Mist because the citrusy, kind of harsh flavor is already there.
Since Red Bull became popular, it’s produced many flavors while helping students cram for exams all night and snowboarders and other athletes reach peak performance. The flavor itself comes from synthetic minerals and vitamins, though they certainly work to keep your focus sharp and your heart beating a bit faster.
While not every flavor we listed is still available, we suggest trying one or two based on your current likings of fruit flavors.
As we suggested, Red Bull does mix well with alcohol and can “take the edge off” harsher mixes like vodka.