Pepsi has existed for over 100 years and have released tons of different products since then. Pepsi is available in over 200 countries, with a lot of them having products that are unique to them. Because there are so many different products all around the world, there bound to be some interesting Pepsi drinks you didn’t know existed. Some sound delicious, and there are some you’d probably rather never come across in a store near you, but either way, here are 10 Pepsi drinks you won’t believe actually exist.
10. Ice Cucumber
Japan is one country that has released quite a few unique Pepsi flavours throughout the years. Dozens of Japan exclusive variations of the soda have been released and some certainly sound better than others. Some Japanese variations include flavors that are quite different to the ones we find here in the US. While there are plenty of fruit flavored sodas available in the American market it’s certainly a lot more difficult to find a vegetable flavored one. Japan decided to venture into the vegetable soda territory in the summer of 2007 by releasing an Ice Cucumber flavored Pepsi as a limited time offer. A refreshing soda is the perfect way to stay cool during hot summer days and that’s exactly what Pepsi was going for when it released this Japanese flavor. The spokeswoman of Pepsi’s Japanese distributor, Suntory Ltd. said that the company “wanted a flavor that makes people think of keeping cool in the summer heat” and that they “thought the cucumber was just perfect.” The soda was marketed as tasting like a mix of icy cucumber and the classic cola flavor in Pepsi, but according to some people who tried it, the drink tasted more fruity with a cucumber aftertaste, which was described as kind of gross by some. Sadly it’s impossible to get a taste of the drink yourself, because this unique flavor was only released for a few months over 10 years ago now.
9. Pepsi Pink
Another bold Japanese flavor was released for a limited time in 2011 and again in 2014. This time, the drink was a familiar fruity flavor but with a slight twist. The soda was titled Pink Cola and the drink itself was a soft pastel pink color. The taste was rather interesting as the cola was actually strawberry milk flavored. Strawberry soda isn’t that special but adding the milk element is pretty ambitious. Flavored milk, especially strawberry, is a popular drink in Japan, but carbonated milk is not something that sounds especially appetizing. However, there are some carbonated milk drinks sold in East Asia, so Pink Cola doesn’t seem that strange to Japanese consumers. According to reviewers, the drink is sweet to the point where people found it difficult to drink the entire bottle in one sitting. This might sound great for those with a sweet tooth, but to people who don’t enjoy overwhelming sugar, it’s not the best. Apparently the strawberry flavor is super strong but it’s hard to detect any milk flavors or textures, which is probably a good thing. Japanese consumers must have liked the product though, as it was brought back for another limited time release in 2014 after its original limited run in 2011. Sadly the drink is not currently available, but maybe it’ll be brought back again and you’ll have the chance to give this soda a taste test yourself.
8. Pepsi Gold
Sometimes drink companies collaborate with other companies in order to promote their products. In 2007, Pepsi was one of the sponsors for the 2007 Cricket World Cup that took place in the West Indies. For the event, Pepsi released a limited edition drink called Pepsi Gold in collaboration with the International Cricket Council. The drink was released in India due to the country’s huge cricket following. Cricket is one of the most popular sports in India, if not the most popular, so it was a good marketing technique on Pepsi’s end to release the drink there. The drink was like its name states, gold in color. The color was supposed to represent the gold of the World Cup trophy won by the winner’s of the event. The taste of the drink was that of classic Pepsi with a bit of lemon added in, to go with the gold coloring. The color of this Pepsi is slightly off putting, but the taste itself doesn’t sound all that bad. Because this was a limited edition release over 10 years ago, it’s impossible to try the drink yourself. The flavor is most similar to the lemon flavored Pepsi Twist, but unfortunately that was discontinued a while back and is no longer available in the United States.
7. Pepsi Azuki
Another Japanese flavor of Pepsi on this list is the Pepsi Azuki which was released for a limited time in October of 2009. Azuki is a red bean that is common in East Asian cuisine, especially in the making of red bean paste which is used to make a lot of different baked goods. Azuki is a pretty sweet variation of bean and it’s been used as a flavor for other snacks such as ice cream and chocolate bars before, so it makes sense thar Pepsi would hop on to the trend and profit off of the flavor as well. The reviews of the drink were interesting as people decided that the flavor was not bad, but it tasted nothing like Pepsi. Apparently the smell was a different story though, with one reviewer stating that it smelt like somebody threw up a red bean cake. Once you get past the smell though, it was fine. But along with tasting nothing like Pepsi, the drink also apparently did not taste very much like azuki. This can be easily explained by flipping around the bottle to read the ingredients, where you’ll realize that there isn’t actually any azuki in the Pepsi at all, but instead a grape flavouring. Even though some parts of this limited edition drink were questionable, it was a very unique flavor and one that would have been really interesting to try out.
6. Pepsi Ghost
Yet another Japanese flavor on our list of Pepsi drinks you didn’t know existed is Pepsi Ghost. This limited edition flavour was released in October 2015 in celebration of Halloween. The drink came in several differently decorated bottles, with one portraying a witch, another one a ghost, a jack-o’-lantern, among others. Even within the realm of unique Japanese Pepsi flavors, this edition of the drink was unusual because its flavor was a secret. This was a pretty good marketing technique as it created curiosity among people and influenced more people to buy the drink to test out what they thought the flavor was. The flavor of the drink remains a mystery, as it doesn’t seem like Pepsi ever actually revealed what the drink was. Because the drink was a limited edition, you can’t taste it and judge it yourself but there are quite a few speculations about what the flavor was by reviewers online. One person had many ideas about what the flavor could have been. Their three main guesses were chocolate, peanut butter, and pumpkin, all of which sort of fit into the Halloween candy theme. They also said there was the possibility of it being marshmallow, popcorn, or candy corn, which also fit. Another person stated that the drink was reminiscent of the Wild Cherry Pepsi available here in America, which hints at a more fruity flavor than the other guesses. Another reviewer says it tastes like a lighter version of normal Pepsi with a hint of pumpkin. Unfortunately though the true flavor will probably always remain a mystery, so all we have to go by are these guesses.
5. Blue Hawaii
The next Japanese flavor on our list is the Blue Hawaii Pepsi that was released for a limited time in the summer of 2008. The drink is based on the cocktail of the same name that contains rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sweet and sour mix, and sometimes vodka. Sadly, this Pepsi rendition of the cocktail does not contain any alcohol but it does keep the bright blue colour of the original, which is unsettlingly similar to the color of antifreeze. The Pepsi version also stays true to the flavors of the cocktail by making its flavor pineapple and lemon, with the lemon tanding in as the equivalent of the sour flavor in the original. According to reviewers, the drink was extremely sweet and artificial, which is probably to be expected from a sugary soda, but it didn’t taste as bad as it had the possibility to. So despite the offputting color, this cocktail flavored soda doesn’t seem to have been all that horrible, especially considering that the previous summer’s limited edition Pepsi in Japan was Ice Cucumber. After trying that we’re sure that the people’s taste buds were pleased with the overly sweet fruity taste of Pepsi Blue Hawaii.
4. Pepsi Samba
We’re now moving away from Japan and heading into Australia, where the short lived Pepsi Samba was born. This limited edition Pepsi flavor was released in the country in 2005 and was discontinued pretty quickly after due to low sales and negative reviews. The drink was a unique flavor of mango and tamarind mixed into the usual cola flavor of Pepsi. Tamarind is a tropical fruit with a sweet and sour flavour, so the drink was supposed to have an exotic taste. Fruit flavored sodas are usually great, but as you could probably imagine, the taste of cola mixed with tropical fruits does not sound widely appealing. Gathering information on the Pepsi Samba is difficult because of its extremely short life on the market, but according to forums discussing the drink back when it was released, it was absolutely disgusting. One person described it as “gag-worthy” and says that it is by far the worst Pepsi drink released, while another person describes Pepsi Samba as tasting like soap. They also say that the aftertaste is just as bad as the drink itself and that for some reason there’s also a flavor reminiscent of mint or eucalyptus. Hopefully this outburst of negative reviews and low sales taught Pepsi to keep exotic fruit and cola flavors far away from each other.
3. Lemon and Mint
We’re heading back to Japan to introduce the next entry on this list: the Lemon Mint Pepsi, released as a limited edition flavor in 2015. The flavor is similar to that of a mojito, which contains rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. Of course the Pepsi version does not contain any alcohol but it did keep the citrus and mint flavor. But instead of just plain carbonation, the lemon and mint flavors are inserted into the classic cola flavor of normal Pepsi. The drink is also unique as it is part of Pepsi Japan’s “Special” line of drinks that are endorsed by an organization called Food for Specified Health Uses, or FOSHU. Food and drinks endorsed by FOSHU contain ingredients with functions for health that are officially approved to claim their physiological effects on the human body, and in this case, Pepsi Lemon and Mint is saying that by drinking it along with a meal, it blocks the production of new fat cells, leading to less weight gain. Along with this the drink only contains 5 calories per serving, so it is a healthier alternative to other Pepsi products. The taste itself is said to be very close t the taste of normal Pepsi, and the taste of the mint and lemon is pretty subdued. However, it’s said to have been really good and refreshing anyways.
2. Pepsi Shiso
Japan has had many unique flavors over the years, and another strange flavor of the limited edition summer flavor of Pepsi was released in 2009. This time the drink was called Pepsi Shiso, and its flavor was the same as its name. The bright green drink was flavored with shiso, a leaf in the mint family that’s commonly used to season sauces and other foods in Japanese cuisine. While it might have been slightly better to mix the shiso with some other flavor in order to make it more appetizing, this limited edition drink is simply shiso with nothing else not even the classic cola flavor of Pepsi. Reviewers of the drink pointed out that the appearance and smell of Pepsi Shiso reminded them a lot more of a chemical that would be used to scrub floors than something that you would want to put in your mouth and drink. After getting past the shock of the smell though, apparently the drink didn’t actually taste as awful as it had the potential to be. The taste was described as grassy and strong, but not so bad that it was completely undrinkable. One reviewer said that if the herbal flavors had been a little more subtle, it would have been a really good drink. So while it wasn’t completely disgusting, Pepsi Shiso could definitely have had room for improvement.
1. Salted Watermelon
The final entry on our list is yet another summer limited edition of Pepsi. The 2012 release brought us the interesting Salted Watermelon flavor of the drink. Salt on watermelon might sound strange to some people, but it’s actually said to enhance the flavor of the fruit and it’s fairly common in Japan to salt watermelon before eating it, so that explains the weirdness of the Salted Watermelon flavor. However, this salted watermelon flavor was added into the classic cola flavor of Pepsi, which is a risky move considering the aftermath of the fruit with cola mix Pepsi Samba. According to reviews, the watermelon taste in the drink is actually very subtle, and despite the bright red appearance, it tastes a bit more like classic Pepsi. It was also described as being much less sweet than other variations of the soda, leading to a more “adult taste”. While watermelon flavors are usually overpowering, this one is not, and it actually makes for a pretty delicious combination. While this unique drink was a success, some others on this list definitely were not, and it just proves that sometimes good results do come out of bold risks, even when there are some failures along the way.