Sunday, August 7, 2016

CRYSTAL PEPSI IS BACK, BABY!

Holy crap, we've seen a LOT of drinks of the past make their epic returns this summer. Surge, Mountain Dew Pitch Black and Baja Blast, and of course the king of the childhood drinks, Ecto Cooler. 

During all these major events, one question remained: will Pepsi have the balls to rerelease Crystal Pepsi? I mean, all these companies are going back in the corporate time machine and giving new life to these cherished drinks. But Pepsi? Would they give Crystal Pepsi another go? I mean, it was a huge failure the first time around. Let's face facts, as cool as it was, there's a darn good reason it hasn't been readily available for 23 years. As a kid, I was less than impressed and just thought it as a fizzy piss flavored drink. I just wasn't blown away. I would've rather drank anti freeze.

And no, it has nothing to do with that rad Van Halen commercial.


And I'm a lifelong Van Halen fan so I totally dig it to this day. Hagar-haters to the left...


Late last year, there were rumors flying around that maybe...just maybe Crystal Pepsi would come back. Could it be? Really? I mean, the internet sees unsubstantial rumors flying everyday. I personally had my doubts. Come on...there's absolutely no way Pepsi would even consider rereleasing this embarrassment. But that's when a teaser video hit...


Oh wow. It's officially happening.

Well, kinda. Pepsi released it by doing a giveaway via their Pepsi Pass app in January. Which meant, only a certain amount of people were given 6 packs of Crystal Pepsi. Of course people who didn't win complained that it was rigged and unfair. But uh...that's how contests work, boo.

So finally it was announced Crystal Pepsi would be released in August across the country. Canada got them first a month or so before. Which is great considering, they didn't get Ecto Cooler so ya know, fair is fair. So finally, Pepsi is giving their loyalists the drink they've been waiting for.



There it is! I still don't believe it bu it's back. This may be a bit more shocking than Ecto Cooler just because it was so universally hated. But, be that as it may, it's here alright. Live and in living...well...clearness?

I needed a little assistance. Just as I had for Mountain Dew and Ecto Cooler, I had to enlist the help of someone who could give it the proper unbiased opinion.


Ooooooooh yeah! I had to call on my buddy Circa 1992 Randy Savage to test this out! Randy's ready for any challenge, but this could be his greatest challenge! Andre The Giant, Bam Bam Bigelow, Big John Studd? All easy compared to taking on the new Crystal Pepsi. But, he stepped up and ready to rep the 90s!

So let's begin shall we?

Randy suggested I use an old Pepsi glass to get the right feel. Hey, I'm not one to turn down advice from the man who brought popularity to Slim Jim. He knows his stuff about junk food.

So there it is. Let's discuss the bottle. 

Look familiar? Pretty spot on, I'd say. Not 100% accurate to the original, but a perfect blend of new and old to satisfy even the most loyal Pepsi fan. The new logo isn't my favorite Pepsi logo but combining it with the old Crystal Pepsi look is a perfect combo. It works for me. We're already starting off right.

Ok, time to end this riff raff. The packaging is fine, but it's time to taste it! In the tradition of Ecto Cooler and Surge, I was expecting it to taste exactly the same taste, which if I recall properly, was like drinking straight up seltzer water. 



Before I continue, I gotta break kayfabe for a second and pull back the proverbial blogging curtain. The pic above? Shortly after this was taken, some pollen fell inside it. I actually had to throw the rest of the glass out and in the process, I accidentally knocked over the rest of the contents in the bottle. Thankfully there wasn't a lot in the bottle but that's the way the ball bounces, g.


Now, thanks to my buddy Jay of the Sexy Armpit who sent me a photo of an old bottle, I was able to see the old recipe:




And the new one:


As you can tell, there's a big difference between the original and the new offerings. Whereas the original had a very fizzy plain taste with nothing close to a taste of Pepsi, this one delivered more of what, I assume, they were going for. It tasted more like Pepsi, yes. Not 100% Pepsi but more like a fizzier Pepsi with a slight twist of lemon thrown in. Which isn't bad, really. It's a pretty good offering if you ask me.

I also gotta throw out there that it's a good time to put it out as well. As fun as it is to head down to the pool with a delicious Ecto Cooler, something about a clear soda screams "summer drink" to me. I don't know why but it does. Call me crazy.


So the verdict on this new Crystal Pepsi? I think I'm in the middle here. I don't think it's terrible. I don't. I think it's good, but it's not really Crystal Pepsi as you once knew it.. I mean it is, but only if you're going by the label. 

 I can't honestly say this makes me love Crystal Pepsi and it's history but I can appreciate this new idea of taking old drinks and putting a new twist on them. If that's the case, maybe Pepsi Holiday Spice will get a new life. If it's the original Crystal Pepsi you're truly after, there are ways to make the original I'm sure. If you want to give Crystal Pepsi 2.0 a chance, you may enjoy it. I just wasn't blown away. But I really don't see this being a flop. I think it'll be a big success. People will enjoy it for what it is. And I refuse to tell people they shouldn't enjoy it. That wouldn't be prudent.


So there it is. The somewhat return of Crystal Pepsi, if only by name. I'm sure Pepsi will be raking in that clear dough and have zero qualms about the differences between the 92 offering and now. But hey,that's the soda game. 

In closing, I do have to say if you're gonna give it a go, try it with a sandwich and chips! 






Much thanks to Jay of the SexyArmpit for the photo of the old Crystal Pepsi label. Please visit his site at Sexy Armpit for so much awesomeness!


-Chad

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