Following in the tradition of Mountain Dew’s LiveWire in 2003 and Pitch Black in 2004, PepsiCo has unveiled a new Pepsi flavor that will (supposedly) be available only during summer 2007. This special edition beverage has been labeled Pepsi Summer Mix, and it purports itself to feature “a mix of tropical fruit flavors.” (To view Pepsi’s highly uninformative promotional website, click here.)
Though I rarely drink a straight-up regular Pepsi-Cola, a limited edition soft drink is the precise kind of gimmick that I’m ever so likely to sucker myself into trying. And so I did. And here are my thoughts:
That’s the first and foremost thought that came to my mind upon tasting the drink. Given that most of us probably have similar thoughts whenever we taste something new, I’ll elaborate. I had presupposed that Summer Mix would be a citrus-infused version of Pepsi-Cola, but it was nothing like that at all. In fact, I found the flavor to be rather elusive. For a brief and fleeting moment, it tasted just like regular Pepsi. Then, just before my brain actually had time to register the thought, “Hey, this tastes just like regular Pepsi!”, the regular Pepsi flavor dissipated and something else was there. Something rather enigmatic for a cola drink.
My wife, who herself is not a cola fan at all, tasted the soda. She provided the first flavorful description that I felt had some merit to it. She said it tasted just like Dubble Bubble bubblegum. I took another sip and, by golly, she was right. It did taste remarkably like Dubble Bubble! I had been leaning toward a vanilla-esque flavor, but she was hitting the nail more squarely on the head. Pepsi Summer Mix tastes sort of like drinking Pepsi with a mouthful of bubblegum. Interesting.
As I sat down to write this post, I went ahead and poured myself another tumbler of the stuff. It’s been a couple of days since I tried it, and I felt determined to pinpoint how exactly Pepsi Summer Mix was justified in claiming that it bears an essence of tropical goodness. I think I’ve finally figured it out. Stretching my mind a bit, I now think the best description of Pepsi Summer Mix is to say that it tastes like the illegitimate lovechild of Vanilla Coke and a piña colada. That might not be Pepsi’s ideal description of the drink, but I think it’s a fair and accurate one. If you’re more of a candy connoisseur, you may also think of it as Pepsi-Cola blended with those piña colada LifeSavers—but I don’t suppose that description could be any more illuminating than the previous one.
In the end, I guess there’s the more fundamental question of whether or not to recommend Pepsi Summer Mix. I wouldn’t give it an enthusiastic recommendation by any means. If you’re a cola fanatic, I guess it’s a way to have something new without going completely AWOL and drinking a cream soda or a Sierra Mist or something. (Or, heaven help you, some fruit juice.) But I wouldn’t avidly seek this beverage out myself. A piña colada-like soda sounds interesting on its own accord, but it’s a tad weird tasting piña colada blended with a blatant cola flavor. (I suppose it may be something along the lines of a Rum and Coke, but since I don't drink, I wouldn't know. If you like those, perhaps you'll like this after all.) In the end, then, I personally wouldn’t turn down a free Pepsi Summer Mix, but I also wouldn’t say it’s a complete match.
NOTE: Surprise, surprise, I’ve updated my long dormant side projects, Orange Theology and In the Key of Orange. While you’re here, you may as well stop in and read those posts!