The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Your ultimate drink stop

It seems like no one knows just how many drink combinations are possible at Sonic. The official number, according to Sonic, is just over 168,000. According to a Wall Street Journal article by “Numbers Guy”, Carl Bialik, the real number is 688,133. A Sonic employee explained the discrepancy in the article.

It turns out the reason for the difference stems from a contest Sonic held in 2006, which awarded the winner $168,894 — the supposed total number of possible drink combinations. The company chose this number (based on a maximum of six add-ins) in order to have a reasonable prize amount, while the number in the Wall Street Journal article reflects the actual number of possible drinks.

Regardless of how many combinations may be possible, it stands to reason that when you start throwing flavors like blue coconut and Powerade into America’s favorite soft drinks, a fair number of them are going to turn out absolutely terrible.

Dr Pepper with Apple Juice

A complete shot in the dark. Apple juice was such an odd add-in that it had to be used at some point, and Dr Pepper was quickly proving to be the universal base. Against all odds, the two came together beautifully. It actually tasted like one of those caramel apple suckers that always get handed out on Halloween.

Cranberry Limeade with Apple Juice

After the Dr Pepper’s success, apple juice went from oddball gamble to full-fledged legitimate add-in. The drink was a little more dangerous than the others, while still managing to stay within the boundaries of good taste. Light, fruity, easily the classiest of all our combinations, and quite good to boot.

Grape Pineapple Sprite

Easily the worst. I took one sip and wondered if we ordered a slush. The texture was so awful I couldn’t even think about the flavor. It was the only one I actually spat out. It had pineapple chunks, and tasted eerily like cough syrup. The chunks of pineapple actually clogged the straw, and the whole mess became thankfully undrinkable.

Dr Pepper with everything

Dr Pepper seems to go well with anything, so we wondered – how well does it go with everything? I had to get a Route 44 size drink to fit all the flavors in. At first, the guy taking the order says he can’t fit everything in there, but he comes back a few seconds later simply saying “I’ll make it happen.” I was fully prepared to be killed by this drink, to be struck down by the awesome flavor fury of the drive-in gods, or to take one sip and vomit uncontrollably. Turns out, it just tasted like a Capri-Sun.

Root Beer with Powerade

This one was a legend. The combination of Powerade and Barq’s was supposed to magically trick your tastebuds into thinking “bubblegum.” It was hard to tell at first—just a watered-down root beer taste—but after a few seconds there was a weak bubblegum aftertaste.

Chocolate Lemon Orange Coke

The first sip was promising—Coke with a citrus bite. Not mind-blowing, but not bad. Then the chocolate hit. It was like Count Chocula with Coke instead of milk. A throat-burning, syrupy sort of sweetness that stayed in my mouth way longer than it should have.

Peach Tea with Strawberry, Cherry, and Grape

Sugary. It was like every flavor of dime-store popsicle melted together in a cup—one of those that was good once, but not the kind of thing I’d drink every day. There are actual fruit pieces instead of just syrup for some of the flavors. This is one of only a few drinks where it worked.

Watermelon Dr Pepper

This was supposedly a popular choice at school. I can see why. Not quite watermelon, not quite Dr Pepper. There’s just enough of each to make it a distinct flavor. Balance is what makes this great. The Peach Tea wasn’t something I’d drink every day, but Watermelon Dr Pepper sure is.

Blue Coconut Root Beer

It sounded good on paper. In reality though, the root beer overshadowed the coconut taste, and I was left with a slightly sweeter, headache-inducing version of the regular root beer. Maybe coconut is already an ingredient in Barq’s?

Cherry Chocolate Dr Pepper

Chocolate ruins everything. Chocolate did not deserve a second chance. It had this thick, dull flavor that blotted out every bit of nuance in the drink. Every once in a while the cherry poked through. It tasted a bit like a Tootsie Pop, if you could get past the nasty artificial liquid chocolate taste.

Ocean Water Float

This is basically a bit of Ocean Water sprinkled over vanilla ice cream. It was tropical heaven at first—sweet coconut Sprite over the light vanilla taste. But about halfway through, the Ocean Water was all gone and I was left with a vanilla shake. It was good while it lasted.

Wyatt Anderson and Daniel Magwire
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Your ultimate drink stop