From Iceland — Culinary Journeys Through Iceland: Nocco

Culinary Journeys Through Iceland: Nocco

Published May 31, 2018

Culinary Journeys Through Iceland: Nocco
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

If you’re a hip gym rat or underage teenage vaper, you’re probably super into the Nocco energy drink. The Swedish brand has taken Iceland by storm—so much so that the packaging is literally in Icelandic (for you tourists: that never happens). The name stands for “No Carbs Company”, a marketing trick that definitely makes us believe it’s healthy. To get deeper into the Icelandic psyche, we bought two cans to try.


On first taste, the drink completely assaults your mouth with an intense chemical flavour. It’s reminiscent of the pre-workout drink Amino—but more overwhelming, with small carbonated bubbles that ensure you can just lightly sip it lest your mouth sizzle. I don’t like it. I want Red Bull.

The first flavour is pear. We have no idea if this is a popular one or not because we are all over the age of 20. Anyway, it tastes like Guaraná, a Brazilian soda, but that’s a pretty bougie reference. There’s no other way to explain the flavour though. It’s vaguely apple-y, but more like if someone tried to make an apple flavour after only reading about it online. It’s just wrong. Also, the aftertaste is really long-lasting, as in you can still kind of feel it 15 minutes later. We are all upset.


The second flavour is called Caribbean. It’s horrifically offensive and I hate it. I assume it is supposed to evoke thoughts of sun-kissed beaches and Piña Coladas, but it tastes more like if someone left an artificial pineapple in the sun until it rotted. The aftertaste is rancid and the carbonation combined with the vague coconut flavour is just wildly confusing. Who thought this was a good idea?

That said, there’s something about the drink, and I find myself absentmindedly sipping it throughout the day and then immediately hating myself. I look at the label, and am horrified to find out it is made in Stockholm. Oh no. Clearly I have become attached to my liquid captor. Save me. No, don’t.

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