Thursday, 17 December 2009
10. Coke II
So, back when Coca Cola started to slump a little in sales to its fiercest competitor, Pepsi Cola, someone made the executive decision to dink around with Coke’s secret formula thereby making it taste more like, well, PEPSI. It wasn’t bad, per se , but it sure as hell wasn’t Coke. I remember how horrible this stuff was and how much I missed the old coke but the new innovation it brought was the plastic two liter bottle, "you take the good, you take the bad". This was an early eighties disaster and it always managed to make an appearance at our sleep-overs and it did a fine job of keeping us wired for hours. I think it had more sugar as well. I really do miss this stuff, but sadly, when Coke went back to its ‘Classic’ formula permanently, Coke II disappeared into soda oblivion.
9. Hubba Bubba
The strongest memory I have of Hubba Bubba Soda is from grade school. We, in the ass-backward, dirt-water, hole that is rural Wisconsin seemed to drink this stuff by the gallon and as children had our own drinking games involving this gum pop. One of the ‘games’ was the infamous ‘Pop Chug’. Everyone would stand over a beach towel with a ’spotter’ on one side and commence to gulping as much warm Hubba Bubba Soda as humanly possible. Loads of fun. I was never a big fan of this gum-flavored pop because whenever I seemed to drink it I always got a migraine, but it does hold certain high esteem in my clogged memory bank.
8. Pepsi’s Wild Bunch
Just in case the images aren’t clear, we’ve got: Raging Razzberry, Tropical Chill, and Strawberry Burst. I love how Raspberry is cleverly misspelled into ‘cool’ territory with the two ‘Z’s. Very nice. Anyway, The deepest remembrances I have of this particular trio was the chilling innards of my grandparent’s ancient refrigerator on their back porch. It was one of those ‘chill chest’ types with the giant metal walk-in-restaurant-freezer style of handle and enough wattage to cause neighborhood brown outs. Yeah, that thing was always chock full of every conceivable beverage from beer to Bosco . Every time we’d visit we’d try to find the most odd drink we could dig out of there and I quite fondly remember tossing back a few of these guys. Dead and gone now. yes, my grandparents, this pop, and my childhood but I still have the refrigerator which will never die.
Though not out of circulation as long as some of these, Surge has still become a classic to many a pining American. Coca Cola distributed this green soda for quite some time. I can remember it coming in to its own right around 1995 or so, and really building up steam for a few years before succumbing to the popularity of other, weaker, beverages. It had a citrus-like flavor to it but there was something almost lime-Jell-O-ish in the back ground that would always leave a little tang phlegm at the back of my throat. But it was pretty tasty and I could knock back a 2 liter in a sitting no problem. Almost, but not quite, melted candy. It was banned in certain counties near my high school because of the high sugar content. It was astonishing seeing people rush the grocery stores with carts filled with Surge. I simply think this stuff liquid crack.
6. Canfield's Chocolate Fudge
I couldn't find an image for this particular drink but I hold it in high regard. My babysitter used to have a refrigerator filled with Canfield's Chocolate Fudge. Imagine taking a piece of chocolate cake and blending it with seltzer water until it was pure liquid. This drink too gave me migraines but that was the price I had to pay to have this delicious concoction enter my system. When the Diet Chocolate Fudge came out it was disaster. It was horrible and then they changed the artwork on the can and it was supposed to be a chocolate bar but it looked more like a giant turd, and with that I stopped drinking chocolate soda.
This was a pretty recent extinction as well. I remember drinking a few of these back when Guarana was the new kid on the beverage block being marketed by Coke as the energy source of choice. Josta was so chock-full of the stuff you could, in fact, taste it. It was a tad medicine-y, but that flavor was nicely buried beneath the strong fruit and spice overtones that assaulted your taste buds moments before. This pop was far different taste wise than just about anything else out there, and it was pretty decent while it lasted.
Oh yeah, soda with little chewy chunks in it. Outstanding. Somehow, the creators of this beverage managed to thwart the normalcies of science by allowing starch nuggets to suspend themselves ever so beautifully in a super-sweet solution. It was really good, too. I remember Target selling the hell out of this stuff for quite a while. I enjoyed the drinking part, but somehow, coming to the little lumps floating there in was a lot like drinking a glass of gravy… except a lot sweeter.
Kick was a lot like the bastard step-son of Mountain Dew and Mello Yellow. It tasted really similar to both, but almost leaning a bit toward Mello Yellow with its citrus overtones. I actually preferred it over either and would go through a case of this stuff during my late night Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathons. To me is was the poor man's surge. Sort of like Sam's Club's Dr. Radical or Mountain Mist. I have heard that Kick is still on the market but alas I can never find it.
Slice was the precursor to Sierra Mist by the Pepsi corporation and for my buck, it tasted a whole lot better. My grandmother, in her massive fridge of holding, used to keep a constant supply of the Mandarin Orange flavor of this stuff. I hate mandarin oranges in any form, so I stuck to the lemon-lime standard and all was good with the world. There was something less overpowering about Slice as compared to 7-UP; not quite as crisp, not quite as effervescent, but certainly just as tasty. The absolute best thing in the world was Dr. Slice. The Pepsico attempt at Dr. Pepper. Too bad it never caught on.
1. Crystal Pepsi
I was in grade school in 1993 and this soda was a huge hit in Wisconsin. The selling price was less than any other cola and I remember getting cases of Crystal Pepsi at the local Kickapoo(yes, Kickapoo, we honor our native Americans around here by naming gas stations after them but then they got bought out by Kwik Trip) for at least $1 cheaper than regular Pepsi. I honestly loved this stuff, I would drink the HELL out of a few packs per week. I loved this stuff and another fun fact was that it never exploded if you shook it before you opened a can. One time to prove my point I threw a can on my roof so that it could roll down and prove my point. Well the can got caught in one of the eaves. I didn't get the can out a few months later. No I didn't taste it. This pop also introduced me to Van Halen. Yes, the whole marketing campaign revolved around Van Halen's "Right Now". Anyway, there was just something about the non-caramel colored Pepsi that really appealed to me. I miss this the most of all.
Honorable mention:If anyone has any other pop to add to my list feel free to drop a line.
Pepsi Free (with the pink can and blue balloons)
Tab (now an energy drink for women)
Coke Blak(coffee flavored coke)
Bawls(an energy drink with a funny name)
Donkey Kick (energy drink sold at Super America gas stations, every time I bought a can I laughed because I wanted it to be Donkey Punch but they did have another flavor and that was Rooster Booster, I always had images a liquid Viagra with that one)
Jolt(hard to find in Wisconsin because of sugar and caffeine content, the best is the mountain dew style Jolt)
Cheerwine(Cherry flavored pop that tasted like sparkling wine)
Manazita Sol (Pepsi apple pop. I have only seen it in stores twice since it was released)
Pepsi Fire and Ice (The "fire" was cinnamon Pepsi and the "ice" was a mint Pepsi)
Pepsi Blue(this was another berry/cola infusion that somehow never took off)
Sprite Tropical Remix (three different styles of infused Sprite, one was berry, one was cherry and one was tropical)
OK Soda (Hilarious TV ads from Coke. Tried to appeal to Gen X. Had unique comic book style cans)
Citra (Coke's answer to Fresca or Squirt)
Red Fusion by Dr. Pepper(it was their first attempt at a cherry flavored Dr. Pepper but from what people say it tasted like Cherry Nyquil)
Lifesaver Pop(yes, Lifesavers got into the pop game. It came in five flavors and basically tasted like unfrozen Flavor Ice)
7-Up Gold (Actually a form of Dr. Pepper but put under the 7-Up name. Somewhat comparable to a ginger ale. Think spicy 7-Up)
dnL (this was the upside down 7-Up. It was the opposite of 7-Up: caffeinated, green, and in a clear bottle)
Element Rain (Produced by Snapple, originally an agave cactus flavored juice, now an energy drink)