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The late golfer Arnold Palmer will always be known as the innovator behind the greatest beverage that was created by combining two already well known, widely enjoyed things–lemonade and iced tea–into one. It is not likely that Cheerwine and Krispy Kreme will be the next.

Carolina Beverage Corporation’s 2016 Cheerwine Kreme (Salisbury, NC) is a doux soda that infuses the original Cheerwine recipe with the savory chew of Krispy Kreme Original Glazed.

The beverage was introduced this Summer, and though it goes down smoother than 2010’s Cheerwine-flavored Krispy Kreme doughnut, Cheerwine Kreme will not be taking any shelf space away from your favorite LaCroix flavors at your Harris Teeter this Fall.

My eyes were first drawn to the label as I believed it to be an early Christmas promotion; Krispy Kreme’s green dots mixed with Cheerwine red suggested a holiday theme. And to be sure, I might have more easily quaffed the stuff had it been part of a Christmas cocktail.

The pinkish hue and weak legs suggested a watery take on traditional Cheerwine, but surprisingly the Kreme carries a robust aroma of maraschino cherry, jam and sweet tobacco. Inhale deeper and you start to taste the cloying vanilla that overpowers every sip of this liquid trainwreck and chokes out the fruitful base of the original Cheerwine flavor.

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As difficult as it may be, drinking Cheerwine Kreme quickly is imperative. The liquid was less effervescent than its original-flavor cousin and notably goes flatter even faster, so the beverage gets worse the longer you take to drink it. For best results, avoid drinking at all. By rule I don’t drink diet soda, by choice I don’t drink cream sodas, but to hazard a guess I’d say Cheerwine Kreme recalls an off-brand diet cream soda that has been left with the cap off for a while, with a swig of Cheerwine spit in the bottle.

Fortunately, I keep original Cheerwine in stock most seasons and was able to cleanse my palate. There’s a good chance I’ll swing by Person Street for an Original Glazed some time this weekend, too. The whole can be less than the sum of its parts, sometimes nauseatingly so.

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