All Natural Pepsi, meet all natural tile pear.
Pepsi Natural, Journal Entry Seven:
The story so far:
So today I ride my bike a long, long way to the one store I KNOW has Pepsi Natural - the Columbus Deli on 18th Avenue and 86th Street. It's cold and my bike has a wonkity-wonkity element to the ride ever since the ugly incident during my first attempt to pick-up some of this alleged wonder drink.
The bike ride is long and cold, but easy. It's all downhill with the wind at my back. All I can think is that the ride back will be colder and more miserable, as it's uphill into the wind. I mosey along and find the place, caddy corner from an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant. I knew it. I was sure it was there the other day during the false start bus trip, and now it's confirmed. All you can eat restaurants are a rarity in NYC, one needs to keep track. And I have been forbidden eating dinner as my wife is getting off work early and wants me to eat with her.
What a horrible, selfish person.
Arrive in the deli, snoop around and grab three bottles of Pepsi Natural. All they have left. Hoorah! They also have what appears to be kvass made from apples, but only in super-mega sized bottles that I am loath to carry uphill and into the wind for a long cold ride on my bike. So those are left behind. I'll always miss you, suspicious russian faux alcoholic apple drink. Another time.
The Middle-Eastern fellow at the counter asked me if I was Muslim, making a little "I'm pretending I have a beard" motion with his hands. I said "No, I just have the dopey beard". Ooh. With that level of suave you'd think I was talking to a pretty girl. My drive to self-deprecation overwhelmed my drive to not offend minority religions. Whoops.
I tool around the area trying to find other drinkable novelties. I pick up an imitation Mountain Dew I think I already have, but couldn't risk NOT having, and a few other bits. Nothing important.
Long, long cold ride up hill into the wind back and...
Wow. It's... good. I think. There's a weird tinge in it, something fruity like oranges or apples. The smell is perfect, it's everything Pepsi should smell like. That fruit taste is maddening, the back of the label says that apple juice is present for color but that isn't what I'm tasting.
It's oranges, I swear it. No, apricots. Maybe it's apricots. It's the taste of a marginal citrus fruit that no one sensible every really eats. When that flavor runs out into the light, I get a little suspicious of the whole drink but otherwise it's a good, clean taste. Enjoyable, sweet, and natural tasting. How about that?
Those little marks are from my remaining cat rolling over onto the keyboard when I ate the last bit of asian bakery hotdog bun thing. Poor abused cat, not getting any hotdog to eat.
Yeah, I think it's an apricot flavor. A little bitter, or tart or whatever.
The Pepsi Natural bottle is pretty classy, minimally texted and entirely bare for the upper half. That's how I like my drinks and my women. Wait a minute, there's a relief of a Pepsi logo up at the top, but it's still classy. And the little drink by date is stamped right above that, I guess that's functional classy. Secret classy are the little ring of bumps on the very bottom of the bottle, the pattern is irregular so I sort of wonder if there is some secret purpose to these bumps. I bet they somehow orient the bottle during the manufacturing process to ensure that the "Pepsi Natural" text is printed on the proper side in relation to the relief logo.
The bottle shape is a little sci-fi, a little cartoon-made-real. The color of the Pepsi is a little lighter than your usual, a little browner. Just a shade darker than very strong tea.
So Pepsi Natural medium-rocks. Much much better than regular Pepsi, and better than standard Coke, but NOT better than real sugar Coke.
Edit: A year later I have come to love this stuff. The favorite drink of me and my wife. Of course, they no longer make it, so go to hell Pepsi.