| || This page is about the soft drink. For the pre-War company, see Nuka-Cola Corporation.|
For a list of variants available in the games, see List of Nuka-Cola variants.
Nuka-Cola is the flagship product of the Nuka-Cola Corporation and one of the symbols of United States culture. Introduced in 2044, it rapidly dominated the soft drink market, eventually becoming the most popular soda on the market and a staple of American culture. Bottled and distributed nationwide, Nuka-Cola was available in such numbers that even two centuries after the Great War put a stop to all bottling operations, Nuka-Cola bottles can still be found in the wastelands in large quantities. In the aftermath of the Great War, Nuka-Cola bottle caps became the de facto currency in most post-War societies.
Nuka-Cola entered the beverage market in 2044, with the invention of the soft drink by John-Caleb Bradberton after two years of experimentation. Though strictly unhealthy (containing 120% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar), it took the United States market by storm and within a year it could be purchased nationwide. Its popularity rapidly increased and within several years it was the most popular beverage across the globe.
The constant drive to improve and innovate the formula resulted in numerous flavor variations, with the most popular ones like cherry, grape, and orange released just a few years after the drink debuted. Whenever the company encountered competition, it would attempt to deal with it aggressively. Cherry and grape variants of the Nuka-Cola were patents acquired by the company after identifying individual competitors. In other cases, the corporation would attempt to buy out competitors, as was the case with Sunset Sarsaparilla in 2058 and Vim! Pop Incorporated in 2077. Failing that, it would attempt to release a competing drink accompanied by a massive promotional campaign. After attempts to acquire Sunset Sarsaparilla failed, Nuka-Cola attempted to directly compete with it through Nuka-Cola Wild and the opening of Dry Rock Gulch at Nuka-World. Though it gained a respectable popularity in the American Southwest, it failed to match that of Sunset Sarsaparilla.
The latest Nuka-Cola taste variant was created in October 2076, as the head of the chemical weapons program instigated by John-Caleb Bradberton reported that his team created an isotope of strontium-90 that could be reliably weaponized, as a coating for power armor, a custom munition for the prototypical M42 Fat Man or even an area effect weapon that could be safely deployed from something as simple as a Thirst Zapper. It could also be used "somewhat safely" in a new kind of Nuka-Cola. Bradberton ordered it to be put into production, as Nuka-Cola Quantum (named after the isotope designation in the beverageer's system).
Quantum was fast-tracked through the approval process, presented as the culmination of a three year research program. To create an isotope safe for human consumption, focus groups were used to test various variants of the Quantum isotope. After numerous casualties (at least 62 test subjects died as a result of organ failure, with many more hospitalized with radiation burns; families were provided with Nuka Condolences Fruit and Cheese Packages that contained liability waivers), a safe isotope was created and the first cases of Nuka-Cola Quantum hit the market in select cities on the East Coast, like Boston and Washington, D.C..
Even after the War obliterated the parent corporation, Nuka-Cola would continue to be the most popular soft drink on the North American continent, available in almost limitless quantities. Despite being warm and flat, it holds the allegiance of many and continues to addict wastelanders.
- Carbonated water
- Sugar or aspartame
- Phosphoric acid
- Citric acid
- Caramel color
- Potassium benzoate
- Natural flavorings
The unique taste of Nuka-Cola is the result of a combination of seventeen fruit essences, balanced to enhance the classic cola flavor. The balance is precarious and minute adjustments can affect it severely. Such was the case when the freshly launched Nuka-Cola was reformulated in response to the Great Passion Fruit Famine of 2044 and consumers noticed the change in flavor.
Nuka-Cola contains excessive amounts of caffeine and 120% of the recommended daily value of sugar, making it decisively unhealthy for extended consumption. To counter the negative image, it was marketed as being fortified with vitamins, minerals and "health tonics." Intensive consumption can cause Nuka-Cola addiction, which can lead to splitting headaches if Nuka-Cola isn't consumed on a regular basis.
The iconic curved Nuka-Cola bottle was used by the company ever since its introduction in 2044. The Dazzling Blue color of the glass was popular with consumers: Market research in 2052 indicated that 86 out of 100 polled consumers chose blue as their favorite color.
Nuka-Cola was forced to replace the curved design with a rocket-shaped bottle in 2077. It was the result of long-running litigation over patent infringement, a case that the Nuka-Cola Corporation lost. However, consumers reacted positively to the new Space Age bottle and Nuka-Cola's sales increased even further.
Nuka-Cola was also distributed in soda fountains and cans, although these forms of distribution were far less popular than the iconic bottle, with cans finding its niche around the midwestern United States.
The surge in popularity led to Nuka-Cola spreading nationwide. By 2067, there was a vending machine on almost every street in America, offering regular Nuka-Cola and any of its variants. Popularity of its variants strongly depended on the region, with western states strongly favoring Nuka-Cola Quartz, Victory and the root-beer flavored Wild (competing with Sunset Sarsaparilla). More urbanized eastern states favored classic tastes, such as Nuka-Grape, Nuka-Cola Orange and Nuka-Cherry.
Logotype and brandingEdit
The original branding of Nuka-Cola was very basic but extremely effective. Marketed towards the family (but largely the children), and would even be swept up in the jingoism of the American culture of the time with ads and event featuring prominent military weaponry and would even paint power armor in the branding of Nuka-Cola.
However, a lawsuit that settled against the Nuka-Cola Corporation for use of Nuka-Cola's bottle design allowed them to rebrand starting with the product itself. Nuka-Cola would take a radical change to Nuka-Cola's image to a Space Age theme with bottles taking on the shape of a rocketship. To compliment the new rocket ship bottle, a mascot from 2062 would begin to see reuse because of her glove-like fit the Space Age theme: the Nuka-Girl in a skimpy spacesuit with her raygun the Thirst Zapper.
The logotype of Nuka-Cola would utilize basic brush script font in white with a unique 'N' and additional brush strokes for the hyphen and could also be underlined or stacked based on layout. Red would be the only color to compliment the white text, which both in turn compliment the black hue of Nuka-Cola. In the latter part of 2077, an orange stroke began to appear in advertisements but did not become ubiquitous because of the Great War. The use of this logotype is the most common among Nuka-Cola's products, but there were some problems with consistency in advertisements.
To differentiate variant flavors of Nuka-Cola from one another, different logos would also be developed for each flavor, but each one would complement the base Nuka-Cola logotype which was always printed in smaller type on the flavor's label. This branding consistency would also carry over to locations, such as Nuka-World which uses the same font type for its logo.
Nuka-Cola became a nationally-recognized brand through a combination of aggressive marketing and hostile corporate practices, including takeovers and undermining its competition. The preferred approach was to acquire popular local sodas and rebrand or remarket them as Nuka-Cola variants. Such was the case with two of its flagship flavors, Nuka-Cherry and Nuka-Grape, originally Merle's Very Cherry Soda and Grape-Pearl Soda.
Larger companies were typically more resilient and rebuffed Nuka-Cola's advances. One such case is Sunset Sarsaparilla, a sarsaparilla popular in the southwestern United States. When negotiations with the company fell through in 2058, Nuka-Cola attempted to compete by launching a rival soda, Nuka-Cola Wild.
Another competitor is Vim! soda, a popular Maine drink. Owned by a single family, Vim! repeatedly refused offers from Nuka-Cola. In response, the company sued Vim! for copyright infringement (over the new Vim! Quartz soda) and committed industrial espionage and sabotage of its operations, effectively immune to prosecution thanks to John-Caleb Bradberton's ties with the government and the military.
Numerous other variants of the classic Nuka-Cola were introduced, offering different flavors and taste profiles. Although the classic Nuka-Cola remained the most popular, alternative, fruit-flavored beverages were typically an instant success. Its popularity endured long after the Great War destroyed the Nuka-Cola Corporation, partly thanks to the sheer number of bottles and cans produced, and partly due to its pleasant flavor. Even when warm, flat and irradiated, it's the soft drink of choice for many wastelanders.
Nuka-Cola is best served chilled. Common before the War, ice cold Nuka-Colas are a luxury item after the Great War, due to the scarcity of working refrigeration units. Though flat, chilled Nuka-Cola is the recommended way of drinking it.
Nuka-Cola was the most popular flavored soft drink in the United States before the Great War. After the War, Nuka-Cola is still one of the most popular soft drinks of the post-nuclear world, as large quantities of it were preserved in a fairly pristine state, although it tends to be warm, irradiated and flat. The classic Nuka-Cola taste is the result of combining seventeen different fruit essences with the classic cola tastes, enhancing, but not overwhelming it. By 2077, Nuka-Cola bottles take on a newer look akin to a rocket ship and advertising also follows suit with the reuse of the space-themed mascot: Nuka-Girl.
Nuka-Cola (ice cold variants)Edit
Like most soft drinks, Nuka-Cola is best served ice-cold, but being able to chill Nuka-Cola is a rare wasteland commodity that is the result of placing a bottle of Nuka-Cola in a functioning refrigeration unit. It may be chilled, but it is still irradiated and flat.
A diet version of the classic Nuka-Cola, with sugar content substitued with aspartame.
Cherry Nuka-Cola was one of three fruit-flavored variants released a few years after the debut of Nuka-Cola, following the acquisition of Merle's Very Cherry Soda. The original formula was a local, home-brewed pure cherry soft drink. The drink was rebranded and launched with only slight adjustments to the formula, mixed with Nuka-Cola then enhanced with color to boost visual appeal. It proved to be a drink with enduring popularity, though it was largely limited to the East Coast, but was distributed in large quantities in the vicinity of Boston and West Virginia.
Conceptualized by the Kanawha Nuka-Cola plant, the idea for the drink came from celery-flavored sparkling waters, as well as mixing artificial flavors, package design and marketing to trick people into thinking it had health benefits. Like many of the fruit variants of Nuka-Cola, this one would predominantly feature cranberries. Heavily advertised around the Watoga area of Appalachia as "coming soon," it would stay unreleased.
However, it did appear to have some form of release before the Great War occurred. Very limited quantities found their way into public hands and can very rarely be found in Appalachia. Nuka-Cola Cranberry is likely a regional flavor for Appalachia, like both Victory and Quartz.
|The following is based on Fallout 76 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
According to an unimplemented holotape, after data gathering, cranberries were determined to become the first in the potential line of "snack beverages," using surplus cranberry supplies from Raleigh County as a primary source. The plan was to use marketing tactics to present it as a premium lifestyle brand for the rich and meant for those who had refined palettes and a taste for high quality products.
|End of information based on Fallout 76 cut content.|
Nuka-Cola Dark is distinguished by its namesake deep black color. This particular variation of Nuka-Cola became the company's attempt at entering the alcoholic beverage market and appealing to the adult demographic. A ready to drink bottle of Nuka-Cola and rum boasting an alcohol-by-volume content of 35%, the beverage was touted as "the most thirst-quenching way to unwind." Those partaking in the drink were recommended to not operate motor vehicles or heavy machinery for at least eight hours after drinking, and encourage women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to avoid the drink. Still, it found success in many of the finer lounges and restaurants across the nation. The only known supplies of the drink that remain in the wasteland are those contained within the boundaries of the Nuka-World theme-park in the Boston Commonwealth, or in the Whitespring Resort of Appalachia.
Originally sold overseas as the Grape-Pearl Soda, Nuka-Grape was born after the company acquired the recipe. With no change in flavor profile and only minute adjustments to the formula to maximize profit margins, Grape was one of three fruit flavors released shortly after the beverage's debut, to instant success. Easily distinguished by its purple-on-purple color scheme and the grape-bunch featured on its label and bottlecap. Nuka-Grape is a prominently grape-flavored variant of Nuka-Cola. As with Nuka-Cherry and Nuka-Orange, it was only distributed in the eastern United States. However, the only known supplies of this brand of the drink that remain in the wasteland are those contained within the boundaries of the Nuka-World theme-park in the Boston Commonwealth and in the Whitespring Resort in West Virginia.
An orange-flavored version of Nuka-Cola, easily distinguished by its orange bottle and the orange slice on its label. Along with Nuka-Cherry and Nuka-Grape, Nuka-Cola Orange was one of the Nuka-Cola Corporation's fruit flavors. It was an instant success among consumers on the East Coast. It was developed under the code name "Fur Seal" with a Pear Brandy as a flavor base with its intense aftertaste cut with trace arsenic.
The origins of this soda were unlike anything the Nuka-Cola Corporation had devised before: The beverageers of Nuka-World were signed over to the Army Research Laboratory's Weapon and Material division to develop biological and chemical weapons for the United States military as part of Project Cobalt. After months and months of work on several isotopes of strontium, the team discovered the isotope strontium-90 that could weaponize anything in the military's arsenal but could also act as an additive to make a new cola flavor glow, similar to Nuka-Cola Quartz and Victory. In fact, the isotope was so high energy that the beverage it would be added to effectively became sterilized, killing any bacteria with which it came in contact. The designation of the strontium sample, Q4N7-UM, resulted in the isotope being named Quantum by its creator, Rex Meacham.
The isotope was processed into an additive safe for human consumption by another beverageer, Ruth Leavitt. The Quantum additive was mixed into the new flavor which featured an eighteenth fruit flavor: pomegranate.
Of course, using a radioactive additive in a soft drink brought the expected dangers, even with the beverageer's expertise. Reports in the Arlington, VA Nuka-Cola plant show that product development had not been without failures and casualties. The first few trials of Nuka-Cola Quantum were ultimately fatal, but isotope CCE774 only resulted in dizziness and other mild side effects, allowing it to enter production for limited focus groups on the East Coast. Pilot programs in Washington, D.C. indicated that the new flavor was going to take the market by storm. The Food and Drug Administration did not record any effects that would force a recall, except for one minor side-effect: The isotope in Nuka-Cola Quantum caused the drinker's urine to glow.
Nuka-Cola Quantum was officially released to the public the same day the bombs dropped: October 23, 2077. Because of this, Nuka-Cola Quantum is incredibly rare in the wasteland, with many bottles found in trucks that were shipping the product, ravaged by the bombs. It is more common in the Commonwealth and West Virginia than in the Capital Wasteland, however. At least in the Commonwealth, there were special "pre-release" shipments delivered to certain grocers and restaurants, accounting for its greater availability. The Whitespring Resort also received early-release shipments, which are sold by Bubbles, the Nuka-Cola vendor.
The Quantum substance had originally been created as a secret weapon under the research of Doctor Rex Meacham, sponsored by the army. He managed to finish the project before his death, soon after the bombs dropped. His research can be used to create Quantum ammunition for the Thirst Zapper, which makes blue radioactive explosions that can disintegrate the target as well as Nuka Quantum grenades. After gaining the schematics, and related launcher, from John-Caleb Bradberton's private vault, the Sole Survivor can use Quantum to create enhanced mini nukes.
Nuka-Cola Quantum is also used to speed up processes in Fallout Shelter, such as wasteland return speed and crafting time.
Nuka-Cola Quartz is a flavor of Nuka-Cola that enjoyed a limited release in the American Southwest. It remains a rare find in the post-apocalypse. It has a classy look, thanks to the lack of added food colorings but a distinctive white tint and glow. It was developed under the code name "Angry Beaver," during development the beverageers added non-soluble sugar flakes to simulate a quartz-like appearance and to counteract the cavitation issues from previous attempts.
This version of the soft drink also gives the drinker low-light vision, much like the effects given after taking Cateye. The Nuka-Cola Corporation had a trademark battle with Vim! Pop Incorporated over the "Quartz" trademark since Vim was also selling a drink known as Vim Quartz. Nuka-Cola won the battle.
Nuka-Cola Victory is a "refreshingly patriotic" flavor of Nuka-Cola that enjoyed a limited release in the American Southwest. It is colored orange with a red, white and blue label, giving it a distinct look, much like Nuka-Cola Quantum. It remains a rare find in the post-apocalypse.
Introduced in 2058, Nuka-Cola Wild is a root-based beverage inspired by the soda of choice in the Wild West. It comes in a red bottle and is marked with a red-orange label bearing the legend "Nuka-Wild." This variant was only produced after the Nuka-Cola Corporation was unable to acquire the Sunset Sarsaparilla Company; accordingly, Nuka-Cola Wild was only sold to the public in the American Southwest to directly compete with the well established Sunset Sarsaparilla. That being said, supplies of this brand of the drink can be found within the boundaries of the Nuka-World theme-park in the Boston Commonwealth and a special release batch was given to the Whitespring Resort in West Virginia. No bottle of Nuka-Cola Wild can still be found in the American Southwest, however, a testament to its unpopularity compared to Sunset Sarsaparilla.
When not buying out the competition, the Nuka-Cola Corporation attempted to say one step ahead of the competition by creating radically different new flavors and variants of Nuka-Cola. The number of flavors released by the Nuka-Cola Corporation was vast, and up until the Great War halted production and research, new flavors were still being produced.
Originally called Packed Full of Joe before being bought out by the Nuka-Cola Corporation, Nuka-Boost was a failed attempt at mixing the flavor profiles of coffee and Nuka-Cola. Developed under the code name "Walrus," the attempts to mix cola (let alone all the other fruit flavors in Nuka-Cola) and coffee went poorly and the flavor project was sent back to the drawing board after multiple unfavorable taste tests. Further development was made at a West Virginia plant under the name Nuka-Black; codename: Walrus (NCB02-A6A1). Notes from the unsatisfactory taste tests of coffee were taken into consideration and the mixers there proposed a change of the main additive ingredient from coffee to Dextromethamphetamine. Taste tests with the addition of dextromethamphetamine were also not particularly successful with one taste tester relaying that the new version had an excessively metallic taste and further made their teeth itch.
After the Nuka-Cola Corporation acquired Sharon's Downhome Country Lemonade, they intended to reproduce the soft drink with less expensive ingredients to increase profitability. Nuka-Cola Clear's flavor profile was going to be lemon-lime, but the corporation encountered problems in production: John-Caleb Bradberton wished to spend available funds producing and promoting the newly formulated Nuka-Cola Quantum instead, and with Nuka-Cola Quartz, the marketing team was unsure how to promote two clear sodas at the same time. For these reasons, Bradberton pushed back Nuka-Cola Clear production until at least 2079. The formula was locked away in the Nuka-Cola plant in Arlington, Virginia, sealed by the Great War.
Mixed Nuka-Cola drinksEdit
Due to Nuka-Cola's sheer popularity and ubiquity across the world, several drinks utilizing Nuka-Cola were created by various individuals. The type of drink varied from desert beverages to alcoholic highballs and spirits.
Long Island Ice TeaEdit
A Long Island Ice Tea was a relatively popular drink pre-War and remained so after. Comprised of vodka, rum, tequila, triple sec, lime, and a splash of Nuka-Cola.
An ice cream float made with a combination of Nuka-Cola and ice cream. This dessert beverage was popular up until the Great War when storing ice cream became exceedingly difficult.
This flavor of Nuka-Cola was invented and utilized by The Resident and the Vault 76 overseer to inoculate the raiders and settlers during the main questline of Wastelanders. The drink primarily contains the player character's antibodies, which are immune to the Scorched Plague. Taste-wise, it is described as "yeasty", and is notoriously unpopular with those given the inoculation.
A high-proof distilled spirit mixed with Nuka-Cola Quantum and nuclear waste, Nukashine was created by Lewis of the Eta Psi fraternity of Vault-Tec University in November of 2076. The creation was supposed to provide a source of funds for feeding his Nuka-Cola collector's addiction, but wound up catapulting the fraternity to university-wide fame and led Judy Lowell, the chapter president, to set up a speakeasy in the back of Big Al's Tattoo Parlor bearing the same name. The spirit itself is incredibly powerful, causes blackouts, severe hangovers, and is potentially lethal, as the fellow Pi Mu fraternity found out during their "eviction party."
Rum & NukaEdit
Once the go-to drink for all college freshmen everywhere, the Rum & Nuka still sits at the top as being one of the easiest highballs to make, even at a post-War bar, provided those who have the talents to create such mixes are employed. 
Fallout Tactics variantsEdit
|The following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.|
There are three variations of Nuka-Cola available in Tactics:
|Classic Nuka-Cola||Classic Nuka-Cola tastes exactly like the original Nuka-Cola but comes in a new bottle. It was an attempt at saving the brand after the marketing disaster that was Cherry Nuka-Cola.|
|Cherry Nuka-Cola||Cherry Nuka-Cola is a variation of regular Nuka-Cola. After it was introduced, it turned out that nobody liked the taste. This resulted in a marketing disaster for the company, which quickly attempted to save the brand by introducing the Classic Nuka-Cola, tasting exactly like the original, but in a new bottle. The story of its introduction, rejection, and replacement by Classic Nuka-Cola mimics that of New Coke.|
|Fusion Cola||A unique concoction created by Phil, the Nuka-Cola dude, responsible for refilling the Nuka-Cola machines across the wasteland. It was a tradition passed down (rather stupidly) from generation to generation. Phil was not impressed and doesn't like Nuka-Cola that much. It is rumored that he had something called Fusion Nuka-Cola, a unique, unknown taste which was created by fusing together some Nuka-Cola dregs into a concentrated essence.|
|Yellow Nuka-Cola||Yellow Nuka-Cola is a "variation" of regular Nuka-Cola, both yellow in color and with an "interesting" smell. In Chicago, during the Brotherhood of Steel's reign, there were reports of this strange yellow Nuka-Cola. However, it was quickly identified as a substance designed by a "mad naked man" who "made water." Considering this, and the fact that it's poisonous to anyone naive enough to actually drink it, it is apparent that the so-called cola is in fact a generous helping of urine.|
|End of information based on Fallout Tactics.|
Crafted at Nuka-mixer stationEdit
The Nuka-World theme park published The Official Nuka-World Recipe Book which includes over a dozen recipes that allowed visitors to the park to create their own blends of Nuka-Cola flavors with the use of a Nuka-mixer station. These blends could not be found anywhere other than inside the gates of Nuka-World. Any of these drinks can be improved by chilling them in Buddy, resulting in an ice-cold variant. While some are statistically identical to their warm counterparts, others provide an improvement to the drink's effect on the drinker's metabolism, resulting in increased health and Action Point bonuses.
Officially registered recipesEdit
Such was the popularity of Nuka-Cola and its influence over pre-War American culture, that not only did the company produce its own soft drink-themed amusement park, but one of the draws was the opportunity to create new Nuka-Cola recipes by mixing together various existing Nuka-Cola products at a Nuka-mixer station. The most successful mixes were recorded and written down, obviously intended to later be "officially" created by the company and distributed. Before the bombs dropped, some fifteen distinct recipes had been derived from park-goer experimentation:
Nuka-World raider recipesEdit
Other recipes have been developed by the raiders dwelling in the park since the bombs dropped. These, however, an aspiring brewer must figure out for themselves. Some named mixtures include:
|Soda name||...is a blend of:|
|Newka-Cola||Nuka-Cola and Nuka-Cherry|
|Nuka-Buzz||Two Nuka-Cola Wilds|
|Nuka-Fancy||Nuka-Cherry and Nuka-Cola Wild|
|Nuka-Free||Nuka-Cola and dirty water|
|Nuka-Twin||Nuka-Cola and Nuka-Cola Wild|
Behind the scenesEdit
- During the 2008 E3 as a promotional item, people were given a real drinkable version of Nuka-Cola. It greatly resembles the 1950s look of the Coca-Cola brand bottles.
- During 2015/2016 a real version of Nuka Cola Quantum could be purchased online and in Target stores worldwide.
- The name of the Nuka-Cola creator, John-Caleb Bradberton, is an amalgamation of the inventors of Coca-Cola (John Pemberton) and Pepsi-Cola (Caleb Bradham).
- Its logos, bottle designs, market crash, and even its name are heavily based on Coca-Cola.