August 31, 2016

Pepsi 1893 Original Cola

Pepsi1893-1.jpgPepsi 1893 Original Cola, despite what the advertising says, is not a “totally unexpected cola experience.” Don’t get me wrong–it’s a fine tasting cola. It may even be one of the best I’ve tasted. But it’s still just a cola. Pepsi describes is at “boldly blended,” but I didn’t think there was anything bold about the flavor. It had a very smooth, drinkable flavor, actually. And that “touch of aromatic bitters” that is supposedly includes? They must have accidentally left it out of the can that I drank. “But,” the folks at Pepsi would say to me, 1893 is made with ‘sparkling water’.” Huh? Isn’t this just carbonated water, the same thing that’s in every other soft drink? 1893 probably deserves a “Good” rating, but I’m knocking it down a notch because it’s not nearly as revolutionary as Pepsi wants you to think it is. Don’t believe the hype.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

July 26, 2012

Pepsi Next Paradise Mango

pepsinextpm.jpgIf you haven’t tried Pepsi Next yet, you really should. It tastes almost exactly like regular Pepsi and has only 60 calories per 12-ounce serving. You should also try Pepsi Next Paradise Mango. Before drinking it for the first time recently, I would never have guessed that I would like it. The combination of flavors – cola and mango – just doesn’t seem like it would work. But, the two flavors actually go very well together. The mango flavor is surprisingly pleasant (it doesn’t taste artificial or unnatural) and is a nice complement to the familiar Pepsi cola flavor. It’s a refreshing taste that is perfect for hot summer days. Alas, it appears that Pepsi Next Paradise Mango will only be available for a limited time. Get some while you can.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

March 24, 2012

Pepsi NEXT

pepsinext.jpgPepsi’s newest soft drink, Pepsi NEXT, aims to taste as good as regular, high fructose corn syrup-laden Pepsi. Pepsi NEXT also has high fructose corn syrup in it, but 60 percent less. It also uses aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace K), and sucralose for sweetness. The result is a great tasting soft drink that has less than half the calories of Pepsi. I was really surprised at how similar Pepsi NEXT tastes to Pepsi. Only by drinking them side-by-side, concentrating intensely, was I able to discern the differences. Pepsi NEXT has a bit more carbonation than Pepsi and a slightly more pronounced sweetness. Pepsi NEXT also has a tiny, barely perceptible amount of that “artificial” aftertaste that is common in diet soft drinks. But, it was so small that I don’t think people will notice it, unless perhaps they have a Pepsi on hand to compare it to. It’s certainly not enough to distract from the otherwise pleasant taste. Pepsi NEXT is a soft drink that people who hate the taste of diet soft drinks will be able to enjoy. If you like the taste of Pepsi, I think you will also like the taste of Pepsi NEXT. And, you’ll be cutting the calories by more than half by drinking Pepsi NEXT. It really is the best of both worlds.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (0)

February 27, 2012

Diet Mountain Dew Supernova

Optimized-195724_189687501066520_7945064_n.jpgAfter working a long shift at work today, I was desperate for a caffeine boost. So after quickly browsing through the many options at a local gas station, I decided on a flavor of Mountain Dew that I had never tried before. After doing some research, it seems as though the standard Mountain Dew Supernova was actually part of the first “DEWmocracy” promotion in 2007 and now the diet version has made its way back to stores as the winner of the most recent contest. So, how did it taste? Well initially, I was surprised at how fruity it was for a diet-flavored soda. I could definitely taste a little bit of strawberry in there, but unfortunately the bitter aftertaste associated with artificial sweeteners reared its ugly head. To be honest, I think that it was far worse here than in any other diet soda I've had. If you're one of those people who can stand the taste of aspartame, then this might interest you. As for me, this is a perfect reminder as to why I stay away from diet soda.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jin | Comments (2)

August 30, 2011

Dr. Pepper Ten

dp10.jpgI’m always searching for the best tasting diet soda. My current favorite is Pepsi Max, but with about fifty percent more caffeine than other sodas I like, I only drink it occasionally because I want to be able to go to sleep at night. So, I was excited to find Dr. Pepper Ten on my grocer’s shelves. “10 Bold Tasting Calories, Same 23 Authentic Flavors” is how Dr. Pepper Ten is advertised, obviously a suggestion that it tastes similar to regular Dr. Pepper. The claim is not that far from reality. Dr. Pepper Ten has a real nice flavor that is pretty close to regular Dr. Pepper. It has a bit of that “diet soda” taste, but not much. The drink’s high fructose corn syrup (the source of the 10 calories, I would guess) probably takes some of the edge off of the aspartame taste. Dr. Pepper fans who would like to limit their calories and diet soda drinkers should give Dr. Pepper Ten a try. It’s one of the best tasting diet sodas you can find.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

July 31, 2010

Cherry Crush

cherrycrush.jpgI can remember drinking Orange Crush as a kid and how much I loved the taste. These days, I only drink diet soft drinks and Diet Orange Crush has become one of my favorites. While buying some Diet Orange Crush at Safeway recently, I noticed a drink on the shelf that I had never seen – Cherry Crush. Well, I love cherry flavored foods and drinks, so I just had to buy it! It has a very good cherry flavor and is not overly sweet as I was afraid it might be. It was very refreshing on the hot summer day that I drank it and was a nice change from the cola, lemon-lime, orange, and root beer soft drinks that I typically drink. It’s really too bad that there’s no diet version, because as delicious as it is, my body doesn’t need all the high fructose corn syrup. But if you can handle sugary soft drinks, I recommend giving Cherry Crush a try.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

May 21, 2010

Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla

dpcherryvanilla.jpgDr. Pepper has their Diet Cherry Vanilla, which I’ve always thought is pretty good. Now, Pepsi thinks they can successfully combine the flavors of Diet Pepsi, cherry, and vanilla. Apparently, it’s not easy to do. The cherry flavor of Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla is very strong and the vanilla flavor not far behind. The two flavors are so prominent, in fact, that it’s very hard to taste any cola flavor. I guess this could be a good thing if you don’t like the taste of Diet Pepsi, but my preference would be for a more balanced combination of flavors that complement, rather than cover up, the cola flavor. According to the Pepsi web site, Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla will only be available for a limited time this summer. So, get one soon if you want to drink a below-average diet soft drink that will soon be long forgotten, like so many other Pepsi varieties.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

February 8, 2010

Phoood Fight!: Pepsi vs. Pepsi Throwback

pepsi-can.jpgpepsithrowback-can.jpgPepsi Throwback is Pepsi cola sweetened with real sugar, the way it used to be before the switch to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was made. Most soft drink makers currently use HFCS and it is very controversial because of claimed health risks. Despite the possible health risks of HFCS, I wanted to know if Pepsi made with real sugar tasted any different than Pepsi made with HFCS (let’s call it “regular Pepsi”). So, I did a blind taste test of the two. Pepsi Throwback seemed to have slightly less carbonation than regular Pepsi. I don’t know if it really did or this was just an effect of the sweetener used, but I liked it. Because of the reduced carbonation, I thought that Pepsi Throwback was easier to drink and more of the cola flavor came through. The sweetness of Pepsi Throwback was smooth and tasted more natural. Regular Pepsi, on the other hand, seemed to have more carbonation and had a sweetness that was more pronounced than Pepsi Throwback. The differences between the two sodas were pretty subtle, much more so than I expected. So, which one did I prefer? Even though the taste of regular Pepsi was more familiar to me, I preferred Pepsi Throwback because of the slightly more pronounced cola flavor and a more pleasant sweetness. Pepsi Throwback is only supposed to be available for a limited time, so get one while you can.

Winner: Pepsi Throwback

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

January 12, 2010

Mountain Dew Throwback

MDThrowback.jpgWhat sets Mountain Dew Throwback apart from regular Mountain Dew is that it is not made with high-fructose corn syrup, which is prevalent in soft drinks today. Some say that soft drinks made with real sugar taste better than those made with HFCS. I’m not here to debate that issue, just to tell you that Mountain Dew Throwback tastes mighty good. It’s just like I remember it tasting as a kid, drinking it out of a pull-top can or a glass bottle. Of course, the classic Mountain Dew flavor is there. And so is the smooth, pleasant taste of real sugar. The soda is not overly sweet like some soft drinks are. Honestly, I was surprised at the moderate sweetness that it has. That, combined with a low amount of carbonation, made it very easy to drink. I drank the soda on a cold and rainy day, but it would have been perfect for a swelteringly hot July afternoon in Sacramento. A liter or two of Mountain Dew Throwback on a day like that would go down oh so smoothly.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (6)

December 26, 2009

Mountain Dew Game Fuel

mdgamefuel.jpgMountain Dew is a brand that is constantly trying to find the next big hit. They bring in new flavors what seems like every time I head to the store, with the hopes of finding one that grabs the market. I like the fact that they continually try to diversify and better their product line, but at times I think it can be a little excessive. The drawback to this business strategy is that some people might ignore the new flavors as simply a marketing strategy of “new is cool” and not as a serviceable soft drink desired for its flavor. That is one reason why I chose to review Mountain Dew Game Fuel. Someone needs to do this drink justice and separate it from the herd of other Mountain Dew novelty flavors, because this drink is simply delicious. This drink is similar to Mountain Dew Code Red (another new flavor favorite), but at the same time so different. They have the similar sweet-as-its-color cherry flavor, except Game Fuel’s is a touch sweeter and has a bit more of a fruity essence (it’s described on the can as a “blast of citrus cherry flavor”). Game Fuel seems to be smoother to drink, reminding me slightly of the drinkability of a juice. That may be because it has less carbonation--at least, that is what it tastes like. I don’t know how long Mountain Dew is going to keep Game Fuel on the market, but if you are a fan of fruit-based sodas or Gatorade, you need to try this for yourself. The only way this item should stay out of your refrigerator is if you don’t drink non-diet sodas or have an extreme taste aversion to either the original Mountain Dew or Mountain Dew Code Red products. If that is the case, I feel sorry for your taste buds, bud.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Matt | Comments (0)

August 29, 2009

Diet Mountain Dew UltraViolet

mdultraviolet.jpgSome soft drinks have diet versions that taste pretty good, others are just okay, and some are nearly undrinkable. Mountain Dew is one those that does not translate well into a diet version. The problem with Diet Mountain Dew is that it has a nasty, artificial tasting sweetness to it. Diet Mountain Dew UltraViolet is no exception. Although UltraViolet has a very pleasant mixed berry flavor, the berry flavor is not enough to overcome the artificial sweetness. There are better diet soft drinks out there, so I recommend staying away from this one. Diet Mountain Dew UltraViolet is a limited edition drink and will only be available for a short time. So, if you think I may be wrong and want to try one for yourself, you better hurry and get one while you can.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

June 8, 2009

Pepsi Natural

pepsinatural.jpgIn case you haven’t heard, Pepsi has introduced several new sodas that are sweetened with natural sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. One of these sodas is Pepsi Throwback, which recently received a “Good” rating here on Phoood. Pepsi Natural is another of the new sodas. It definitely deserves a “Don’t Waste Your Money” rating. For a short time, I considered giving it a “So-so” rating because the flavor is unique and I think some people may actually like it. I’m not one of these people, however. I found the flavor to be very odd and not at all what I want in a soda. The flavor of cola was definitely there, but not in a good way. Honestly, it reminded me of an old soda that had begun to go bad. The Pepsi web site says that Pepsi Natural is only available in limited markets. If you don’t live in one of these markets, be grateful. You won’t be tempted to waste your money on it. I predict that Pepsi Natural will ultimately suffer the same fate as Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi AM, and Pepsi Blue and become nothing but a brief mention on the List of Pepsi Types Wikipedia page.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (2)

May 18, 2009

Pepsi Throwback

pepsi-throwback.jpgFinally, the long-awaited Pepsi Throwback has arrived. The last decade has been about cost efficient change for soda companies. Unfortunately, taste is always compromised in the process. They’ve been adding high fructose corn syrup as the sweetener, but for the next few months, Pepsi will be going back to their old recipe that used cane sugar! First off, I was hoping the design of this throwback Pepsi was more original with the white blue and red waves paired with the old font. But that didn’t stop me from opening up the 20 fl oz bottle. The fumes that came out of the bottle had me reminiscing my past already. Who knew cane sugar had such as distinctive smell? Drinking the beverage was not too big of a surprise. The only difference I was able to recognize was the after-taste that followed my tongue down. It also seemed as though the drink was not as carbonated, which was a relief. So the real question, would I buy it again? Sure, the small differences are worth noticing and we may never be able to try this throw back ever again.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Dhruv | Comments (10)

May 5, 2009

Coke Freestyle Fountain Dispenser

cokefreestyle.jpgIf you think about it, fountain drinks dispensers haven’t really changed much over the years. They’ve been pretty much the same as long as I can remember. Get ready for a change, because the future of fountain drinks is coming soon from Coke. The Coke Freestyle fountain dispenser will offer up to 120 types of different drinks, including waters, juices, and teas, some of which have never been sold in the U.S. It uses higher-concentrate ingredients that allow the machine to dispense so many varieties while only occupying as much space as current dispensers. I can’t wait until the Freestyle comes to my area because it is new and high tech, but honestly, I’ll probably just get a Diet Coke every time. The machines will be tested in Atlanta and Orange County, California in 2009. The rest of the country won’t see them until at least 2010.

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

April 6, 2009

Mountain Dew Voltage

mdvoltage.jpgIn 2008, Mountain Dew let the public vote to decide which of three flavors would be added to the Mountain Dew lineup. One of the candidates, Revolution, was reviewed on Phoood and was found to be pretty good, but not revolutionary. The winner was Voltage, which is flavored with raspberry, citrus, and ginseng. It has a nice flavor and is easy to drink, but has a sweetness that kind of reminded me snow cone syrup. Not that this is a necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not seven years old. Ultimately, the name Voltage doesn’t really fit very well. I was expecting something that would electrify my taste buds but instead got a pretty tame flavor that will appeal to lots of people, most of them under the age of 18.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (1)

February 21, 2009

Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback

pepsithrowback.jpgGet a taste of nostalgia with Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, to be released in April 2009. Rather than being made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), they will be sweetened with cane sugar like they were in the good ol’ days. Soft drink aficionados swear that drinks made with cane sugar taste far superior to those made with HFCS. It’s been so long since I drank a non-HFCS soft drink that I can’t attest to this personally, but I’ll take their word for it. Best of all, the bottles will not have the awful new logos. The drinks will reportedly be available only for a couple of months, so be sure to stock up on them.

[via Uncrate]

Posted by Jim | Comments (10)

June 25, 2008

Mountain Dew Revolution

Mountain Dew Revolution is one of three new Mountain Dew flavors (along with “Supernova” and “Voltage”) that you can vote on to determine which one will become a permanent Mountain Dew flavor. Revolution is described as being infused with berry fruit flavor and ginseng. It has a nice flavor, with a mild berry flavor that is pretty tame. Hardly a revolution going on here, folks. There’s also a hint of the Mountain Dew citrus flavor in the background, but it blends well with the berry flavor. Also, it isn’t overly sweet as some sodas can be. Overall, I found Mountain Dew Revolution to be pleasant to drink, but a little on the boring side. I can’t say if it deserves to win the contest because I haven’t tried the other two flavors. If you are so inclined, you can try all three an vote for your favorite at

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (5)

June 8, 2008

Sierra Mist Free Undercover Orange

undercoverorange.jpgI was compelled to write this review primarily to warn others of this horrible soda. It is one of the worst diet sodas I have ever drank, a perfect storm of nasty artificial flavors. Even if the idea of a lemon, lime, and mandarin orange-flavored diet soda is intriguing to you, please heed my warning and do not buy it. You will likely be very disappointed. In fact, I’ll bet that you don’t even finish drinking the can or bottle. Yes, it’s that bad. Thankfully, it is a “limited-edition” soda, released as cross promotion with the movie Get Smart. Hopefully, it will be gone from the marketplace soon so that other unsuspecting consumers can’t waste their money on it. Undercover Orange is also available in a regular (non diet) version, which I haven’t tried.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (14)

April 12, 2008

Jolt Orange Blast

joltorange.jpgBeing a fan of classic Jolt Cola, I was eager to try this new concoction; Jolt Orange Blast. After the first few sips the flavour (and scent) profile was something similar to Orange Jell-O, not bad but not super great either. It tastes a lot like a milder version of classic Orange sodas like Orange Crush or C-Plus, with a more laid back flavour and slightly less sweetness. Unfortunately after a few more sips from the playfully designed can the aftertaste of the "energy" type ingredients (guarana, ginseng, taurine, vitamin B complex) starts to come through, basically the taste settled at something like Orange Jell-O mixed with C-Plus and a splash of Red Bull, to some this might sound tasty or at least interesting, not to me however. As for the "energy" part of the drink, I went to bed 15 minutes after downing the can, my sleep was easy and uninterrupted.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Dean | Comments (2)

March 5, 2008

Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry Chocolate

drpeppercherrychoc.jpgWhen I saw Dr. Pepper’s latest “Limited Edition” Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry Chocolate soda at the AM/PM store, I couldn’t resist the urge to buy. I have bad memories of Diet Shasta Chocolate Soda (circa 1981); memories so bad, in fact, that I haven’t touched a chocolate flavored beverage in 25 years. I planned on hating it, but I was surprised. The first thing I noticed was the chocolate aroma, which translated to a deep, clean chocolate flavor upon the first pull. The sweetness of the cherry flavor kicked in next as an undertone to cut through the chocolate. There was little diet aftertaste, and the flavor of the soda didn’t change over the course of the 20-ounce bottle that I purchased. In all, I wouldn’t be averse to mixing this drink in to my rotation of beverages for a little variety.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Chris | Comments (5)

March 1, 2008

A&W Float

awfloat.jpgThe idea of a root beer float-flavored soda is a great one. But just how do you create the delicious ice cream and root beer flavors in a way that it can be bottled? Evidently, you can’t. A&W has tried with its new Float drink, but it tastes very little like a real root beer float. The components are all there – the root beer, the vanilla ice cream, the creaminess – but the flavor is overly sweet, heavy on the vanilla, and has an distinctly artificial aftertaste. It’s drinkable, and some may actually like it, but it’s no substitute for an actual root beer float. The shapely bottle would earn the Float extra points if Phoood gave points for packaging, but we don’t. At Phoood, it’s all about the flavor, which is exactly where the Float sinks.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (9)

October 24, 2007

Jones Soda Halloween 2007 Limited Editions

joneshalloween.jpg2007 is another "Bertie Botts" Halloween for Jones Soda. In 8 oz portions, these are, no doubt, designed for novelty or Trick-o-Treating giveaway for kids (if you live in a "cool treats" neighborhood). The "new" flavor for 2007 is the "Lemon Drop Dead" soda, that tastes more sour than what has been released before under this name. The scent and flavor is very similar to Lemonheads brand candy. Yet with each gulp you're drinking the sweet and sour value of a small handful of Lemonheads. There's not much here but to say, "Gross!" That's almost a "gross in a good way" around kids. Almost.

On the other hand, the Candy Corn flavor is disgusting, even to kids. It's a hint of cotton candy burnt sugar taste coupled with artificial caramel flavor. Does real candy corn really taste this badly? Poured into a glass the "day glo" color even grossed out my kids (in a bad way). Gruesome Grape and Strawberry S'lime both taste like extra sweet, slightly more tart and garishly colored versions of fruity sodas you might enjoy elsewhere. These last two aren't great, but not awful either. Jones Soda's website says of its Limited Editions, "Don't Blink or You'll Miss Them." I suggest you blink instead of drink. If not, sip lightly.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Bryan | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 28, 2007

Diet Pepsi Max

dietpepsimax.jpgA lot of new diet sodas have been introduced recently, and I really like many of them. This includes new Diet Pepsi Max. It is really good, right up their another of my favorites, Pepsi One. Labeled as "invigorating cola," Diet Pepsi Max has ginseng and 46 mg of caffeine per eight ounce serving. This is more caffeine than most other sodas, including Mountain Dew. The soda has a great taste is nothing like regular Diet Pepsi. It's so good, in fact, that I bet most people wouldn't be able to tell that it is a diet soda. If you are one that usually doesn't like diet sodas, you should give Diet Pepsi Max a try.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 4, 2007

Diet Coke Plus

dietcokeplus.jpgI am really surprised by new Diet Coke Plus. After the awful Mixed Berry 7UP Plus, I thought that I could never like a soda with added vitamins and minerals. Diet Coke Plus, however, tastes great. In fact, I prefer it to regular Diet Coke. It has almost none of that nasty “diet” aftertaste. And, it has 15% of your recommended daily allowances for Niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and 10% for zinc and magnesium. I wouldn’t depend on Diet Coke Plus to supply all my necessary vitamins, but it’s nice to know that it has some good stuff in it as well as being tasty.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

Posted by Jim | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper

drpepper2.jpgManufacturer's Brand Overview: “Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper is the first member of Dr Pepper's ‘Fountain Classics’ line of beverages. Recognizing that line extensions generally don't create lasting sales, this new line will feature limited run flavor extensions to the Dr Pepper brand.” The diet incarnation of this flavor came out first and was reviewed here on Phoood by the diet beverage consumer advocate. I don’t do diet beverages. I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of this flavor on the shelves, and I was not disappointed by the flavor. I think they went a little crazy with the red coloring, so I just drink it straight from the can. I mean, is Pepsi or Coke with Lime flavor GREEN?! Color and the fact that this flavor may not be around long are the only things keeping me from declaring total allegiance to this soda.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Sir Osiss | Comments (39) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

Sprite ReMix Aruba Jam

arubajam.jpgFor those of you that are counting, this is the third Sprite ReMix that has been released. (after Tropical and Berryclear). I wasn’t very impressed with Berryclear, and I’m not impressed with Aruba Jam either. It has a very light fruit flavor that is not very appealing and has a slightly funky aftertaste. The refreshing, fruity flavor you expect from a Sprite just isn’t there. There are plenty of better tasting soda pops out there – don’t waste your money on this one.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (27)

July 17, 2005

Tropicana Twister Diet Orange Soda

No-Image.jpgI only drink diet sodas, and I’m always looking for a better tasting one. PepsiCo has introduced a new line of Tropicana Twister Sodas, and the Diet Orange is not only the best diet orange soda I’ve ever had, but it’s one of the best tasting diet sodas too. It has a great orange flavor and little (if any) “diet” aftertaste. I’ve found that the newer better-tasting diet sodas are usually sweetened with Splenda, but this uses old-fashioned aspartame. I haven’t tried the regular, sugar-sweetened variety, but I have to believe it would be very good also. Orange soda can be a refreshing alternative to colas, root beers, and lemon-lime sodas. I highly recommend trying new Tropicana Twister Diet Orange.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Diet Coke with Splenda

cokesplenda.jpgOnly a few weeks ago, I reviewed new Coke Zero, which was introduced recently. I was kind of surprised to see another new diet cola drink from Coke in the supermarket – Diet Coke with Splenda. Coke may be confusing the consumer by introducing two new diet colas at the same time, but another topic. Diet Coke with Spenda tastes better than both regular Diet Coke and Coke Zero. But, I still am not impressed with the flavor. It reminds me of many of the private-label diet sodas I have tried – weak and generic. There is some “Coke” flavor, but it is not nearly as strong as it should be. Until something better comes along, I’ll be sticking with the best diet cola I’ve found so far, Pepsi One.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 11, 2005

Coke Zero

cokezero.jpgIn the never-ending attempt to come up with a diet soda that tastes good, Coke has introduced Coke Zero. It is touted as “real Coca-Cola taste with zero calories” (isn’t this what Diet Coke is supposed to be?). Coke Zero has more of a “Coke” taste than Diet Coke, and it also has less of that nasty “diet” taste. But it still reminds me too much of Diet Coke for me to like it very much. I’ll drink it again if there’s no better option, but I have to conclude that Coke Zero is only “so-so.”

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (15)

April 19, 2005


dnl.jpgThis soda, brought to us by the makers of 7UP, has been around for a few months now. I finally bought one to give it a try, and have to say that I love it. It has a refreshing, fruity flavor that is very good. Touted as “7UP turned upside down,” (hence the name “dnL,” if you haven’t already figured it out…) it is unlike 7UP in several ways – it is bright green rather than clear and it has caffeine. Most importantly, it tastes better than 7UP. Now, if they’d only come out with a diet variety…

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 28, 2005

Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper

drpepper.jpgDr. Pepper has introduced a new flavor combination that combines two of my favorite flavors. Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper is available in both regular and diet varieties, but I’ve only seen the diet variety in my area. That’s OK, because I only drink diet sodas anyway (I’ve got to watch my calories, you know…). Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper has a great taste, with both the vanilla and cherry flavors clearly discernable on top of the familiar Dr. Pepper flavor. The vanilla and cherry flavors minimize the typical diet aftertaste, making it one of the best tasting diet sodas out there. Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper is highly recommended for diet soda drinkers, and even those who don’t care for diet sodas will probably enjoy it.

Phoood rating: Outstanding!

Posted by Jim | Comments (13) | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

Pepsi Holiday Spice

pepsispice.jpgHere’s another product that goes in the “What’s the Point?” category. Pepsi Holiday Spice, a limited-edition soda that will only be available during the holiday season. It is regular Pepsi infused with cinnamon and ginger flavors. It tastes more like nutmeg and cloves to me, but what do I know? The soda definitely has a different and unique flavor, and kind of conveys that “holiday” feeling. It is quite drinkable, but the novelty doesn’t go very far. The spices are pretty mild, and after drinking most of the 20-ounce bottle, the spice flavor was much less noticeable. A stronger spice flavor would really get people’s attention and make the soda something to talk about. Instead, it will probably be quickly forgotten.

Phoood rating: So-so

Posted by Jim | Comments (16) | TrackBack

September 17, 2004

Diet Rockstar Energy Cola

No-Image.jpgAs I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Rockstar Energy Drink and Rockstar Energy Cola. Yesterday, I found new Diet Rockstar Energy Cola at a local truck stop. While it is not the worst thing I’ve ever drank, I doubt I’ll ever buy one again. It has a weak cola flavor that reminded me of Diet Rite or Tab. The “energy drink” flavor is barely noticeable, which may be good or bad depending on your preference. If I didn’t know it was an energy drink, I would have thought that it was just a bad-tasting diet cola. Overall, Diet Rockstar Energy Cola is a disappointing addition to the Rockstar lineup.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

Posted by Jim | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 10, 2004

Mixed Berry 7UP Plus

7upplus.jpgIs Mixed Berry 7UP Plus the first “healthy” soda pop? It contains fruit juice, calcium, and vitamin C. Plus, it’s made with Splenda low-calorie sweetener, so it has only 10 calories and 2 carbs per serving. If you are trying to drink something healthy that still tastes good, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The soda has a terrible, artificial berry flavor and none of the crisp, refreshing taste you would expect from 7UP. Even for a diet soda, the taste is bad. If you need more calcium and vitamin C in your diet, take a multivitamin supplement – it’ll taste better.

Phoood rating: Don't Waste Your Money

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September 4, 2004

Mountain Dew Pitch Black

pitchblack.jpgMountain Dew Pitch Black is another attempt by soda pop makers to take an existing product and tweak it a little bit to come up with something new. Often, their attempts only create mediocre products. In this case, Mountain Dew has pulled it off. Pitch Black, which is made with black grape and other flavors, is very tasty. It has a great grape/berry flavor that is very refreshing and easy to drink. And, unlike some other new soda pops I have tried recently, the flavor is full and bold. The bottle indicates that it is a “limited edition,” which is a shame. Mountain Dew Pitch Black is good enough to permanently share the shelf with the other Mountain Dew flavors.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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August 15, 2004

Sprite ReMix Berryclear

A berry-flavored Sprite is a great idea, but the folks at Sprite missed the mark on this one. The packaging is very eye-catching, with the purple theme suggesting a strong berry flavor. Instead, the berry flavor is on the mild side. Also, the soda has a slightly artificial aftertaste. Sprite’s target market is the younger crowd (take a look at the Web site), but the flavor is something my grandma would enjoy. With a bolder berry flavor, this soda could be real good. Instead, it’s only so-so.

Phoood rating: So-so

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July 31, 2004

Rockstar Engery Cola

rockstar.jpgI’ve never been too interested in the recent trend of energy drinks. I don’t care for the flavor of most of them, and they don’t give me energy like they are supposed to. I do like Rockstar Energy Drink, however. I also like new Rockstar Energy Cola, which combines and ingredients of Rockstar Energy Drink with all natural cola flavors. The cola flavor is very good, and reminds me of a premium cola more than Coke or Pepsi. The energy drink flavor is there too, but the cola flavor is much stronger. It is also lightly carbonated, which makes it easy to drink. If you want the benefits of an energy drink, but don’t like the flavor, then Rockstar Energy Cola may be the drink for you.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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July 5, 2004

Hank's Fruit Punch

hanks.jpgSometimes I get tired of drinking my soda pop of choice, Pepsi One, and want something a little different. So, I recently had a Hank’s Fruit Punch. I found it very refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. It has a good fruity flavor and not a lot of carbonation, which makes it very easy to drink. I think I’ll keep a couple in my fridge at all times for when I need something different. By the way, Hank’s Web site gets my award for the most annoying site of the year. Check it out for an example of Flash animation gone awry.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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June 12, 2004

Coke C2

cokec2.jpgOnly a few days after I first tried Pepsi Edge, I found Coke’s new low-sugar cola, C2, in a local store. I was very anxious to taste is and compare it to Pepsi Edge, which did not impress me at all. I am surprised that C2 is as good as it is. It has a good cola flavor and lots of carbonation, which were both lacking in Pepsi Edge. C2 has more sweetness than Pepsi Edge, and I find it much more enjoyable to drink. While I probably will never buy a Pepsi Edge, I can see myself buying C2 occasionally. In the low-sugar cola wars, Coke is the clear winner.

Phoood rating: Good.gif

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June 9, 2004

Pepsi Edge

pepsiedge.jpgI came up with the idea of a cola with half the calories and sugar a long time ago. I’ve been waiting for the cola makers to steal my idea and develop a soft drink that is a compromise between a diet and a regular cola. Well, both Pepsi and Coke have done it (Coke's product was actually launced a short time before Pepsi's). Pepsi Edge claims to have “full flavor” with 50% of the sugar, carbs, and calories. Unfortunately, it does not have all the flavor of regular Pepsi. The cola flavor is on the weak side, and the reduced sweetness makes it even less appealing (although some may prefer the less sweet taste). Also, it seemed to have less carbonation than regular Pepsi. Many people will prefer Pepsi Edge over a diet cola, and for good reason. However, I don’t see much reason to drink Pepsi Edge, especially when I can have a Pepsi One (my personal favorite) instead.

Phoood rating: So-so

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June 3, 2004

Hawaiian Punch Wild Purple Smash

hawaiianpunch.jpgI noticed this Hawaiian Punch flavor, which I had never seen before, at the local Kwik-E-Mart. With a name like “Wild Purple Smash,” I kind of expected that it would have a unique or unusual taste. I was disappointed to discover that it tastes a lot like grape Kool-Aid. Some of the other fruit flavors (there are seven in all) that comprise the drink were there, but they were difficult to discern under the strong grape flavor. Interestingly, grape is not even one of the seven flavors. A visit to the Hawaiian Punch Web site shows that there are many other flavors of Hawaiian Punch beside the original Fruit Juicy Red. After trying Wild Purple Smash, I don’t think I’ll bother to try “Green Berry Rush,” “Bodacious Berry,” or the others. I’ll stick with Fruit Juicy Red.

Phoood rating: So-so

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