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I Tried Tom Hanks’ Diet ‘Cokagne’ Cocktail, and It Was Really Bad

The rest of the internet is being too polite.

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I know what you’re thinking: Who is this woman coming for America’s dad? Please don’t get me wrong — I love Tom Hanks. It is because I love him that I would put myself through this experience. One could even argue that I adore him more than the rest, because I’m going to be honest with him.

If you don’t know what’s going on, let me fill you in: Tom Hanks appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert this week, and told a story about his creation of a new cocktail: the “Diet Cokagne.” Sound strange? Keep reading.

The Backstory

“[My family and I] were at the Café Carlyle, which is a great place to go,” Hanks told Colbert. (Café Carlyle is a renowned jazz restaurant on the upper east side of New York City.) “We had a celebratory bottle of champagne brought by. And I’m not a big drinker. I don’t drink a lot. So, I usually have a Diet Coke … because, if you don’t have a long enough ‘disco nap,’ you’re going to fall asleep at about 11:45. So I have a little bit of caffeine — diet coke in the glass — and I sip that through the night. But they brought the champagne around. They brought the nice flutes … And I said, ‘Oh, give me a shot of champagne in there, for crying out loud.'”

“In the diet coke?” Colbert asked.

“In the diet coke,” Hanks confirmed. “And everybody said, ‘You are insane.’ And I said, ‘Well I may be insane, but I want to celebrate the season.’ So I had a sip of this…Stephen, it was delicious.”

At this point, Colbert procured two hidden champagne flutes filled with ice from below his desk. Hanks recommended that Colbert fill the glasses about two-thirds of the way up with Diet Coke, then top them off with champagne. “It doesn’t have to be Coca Cola, it could be any cola product,” Hanks admitted, as Colbert poured the coke.

“But diet?” Colbert asked.

“Well, it needs to be. Yeah, because I [have] type 2 diabetes,” Hanks said. (Was anyone else unaware of this diagnosis?) Colbert finished filling the glasses with champagne.

“Happy 2023!” the men said, clinking their glasses and taking their first sips. Colbert mouthed “wow.”

“How ’bout that?” asked Hanks.

“We have the Tom Collins, [now] we have the Tom Hanks,” Colbert concluded. “It’s strangely, strikingly, shamefully good.” Watch the men sipping their cokagne cocktails in the video below.

Testing the Tom Hanks Cokagne Cocktail

Colbert promised me that the Cokagne would be “strangely, strikingly, shamefully good,” so I expected some magic. I purchased an $18.50 bottle of champagne, and a $2.99 Diet Coke. I broke out a champagne flute, and staged everything by the window. (Tom Hanks deserves the best.)

tom hanks cokagne cocktail next to a diet coke and champagne bottle

I tasted it. I grimaced. I tried again with more champagne, and it got worse; the champagne somehow enhanced the bitterness of the Diet Coke’s fake sugar.

There are probably many other things I could have done to try and improve it. Perhaps I needed ice, like Hanks and Colbert had? Maybe I should’ve purchased a pricier champagne? I came to the conclusion, however, that nothing would fix the flavor if this basic mixture stayed the same.

Moral of the story: The rest of the internet is being very polite, because they love Tom Hanks. (Again: I do, too.) But if you value your taste buds, I recommend that you drink your Diet Coke sans champagne…or vice versa.

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