[Writing something a little bit different for a change– I hope you won’t mind indulging me.]It’s is the time of Summer, and it’s hot. And something I’ve noticed is how the weather seems to affect my drink of choice, Coca-Cola.

My wife thinks I’m nuts for even thinking about this stuff, but I consider myself something of a connoisseur of the beverage. The company may advertise “real Coke taste” along with its zero calories in Coke Zero, but rest assured, I can tell when what I’m drinking isn’t the “real thing.” Even in a blind taste test– I had someone at McDonald’s give me the wrong drink once. I knew.

The two are less distinguishable at lower temperatures– I find that the cold can mask a lot of the flavor of the drink. Room temperature seems to be when the flavor of the beverages are strongest, and it is perhaps for this reason that many people seem to prefer an ice cold can.

And while I can often chug a Coca-Cola with little problem, savoring its flavor the whole way down, I find that the closer to room temperature Coke Zero gets, the more wretched the taste. So naturally, you can see where Summertime consumption might pose a problem.

But despite this, I’ve learned that drinking Coke, canned Coke specifically, during the Summertime possesses what seems to be a rather unique quality. It doesn’t take long for condensation to take effect, making the contents a little warmer while the outside of the can becomes– simply put– quite wet.

After paying close attention, I’ve noticed that on a good Summer day, a fresh Coca-Cola from the fridge contains a certain yin-yang quality– a tao of taste and refreshment. The beverage, perhaps thanks in part to the cold water coating the outside of the thin metal container, retains its chill, but not to such a degree that it masks the taste, which isn’t quite close enough to room temperature so as to be overpowering, unwelcome.

It is for this reason that I’ve developed a certain appreciation for the simple act of drinking a Coca-Cola in the Summertime. Nonetheless, I do what I can to be careful– after all, too much of the stuff can be bad for you. But as a guy who doesn’t smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs, I accept this as my indulgence.

I should also mention as an aside that I far prefer the Canadian-made Coca-Cola, which uses sugar-cane instead of the high-fructose corn syrup of the U.S. version; the latter does some weird stuff to me. Kudos to Pepsi for introducing Pepsi Throwback; I hope that it sticks around and catches on, and maybe inspires the Coca-Cola company to take a cue.

–LBD “Nytetrayn”