Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The $100,000 Pepsi

Well, even though the mighty Picksburgh Stillers failed to make the playoffs this year, I guess I still have to watch the Super Bowl. Why? The Super Can, of course.

Viewers watching the Super Bowl XLI in early February will get the chance to win the Super Bowl Edition Pepsi can, made of sterling silver and inlaid with diamonds, rubies and sapphires, and estimated to be worth US$100,000. The winner also gets two Super Bowl tickets for life.

“The audience will not only watch the great entertainment during the halftime show, many will also watch to see if they’ve won these two incredible prizes,” enthuses Cie Nicholson, VP and CMO of Pepsi-Cola North America.

I like the phrase "the Super Bowl XLI" because it makes the whole thing seem like a sequel that never, ever should have been made and features Steve Guttenberg as an unkillable, knife-wielding maniac who wreaks havoc at halftime.

I entered here. Will you? By the by, they make you set up a Yahoo! address if you don't already have one, but a few moments of your time are a small price to pay for a chance to own a can bedazzled with 300 diamonds, 100 sapphires, and 100 rubies. And in answer to your next question, no, there's no soda in it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Category: Citrus Soda
Ratings (out of 5)
Taste: 7UP 3, Sprite 4
Fizziness Factor: 7UP 4, Sprite 4
Bottle/Can Design: 7UP 3, Sprite 3
Availability: 7UP 5, Sprite 5

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the beverage battle royale between The Uncola and Lymon! Since 7 comes before S in my alphabet, first up is 7UP, which, if you have a moment, has a pretty quirky history. Highlights include the fact that it was originally called "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda" and that its first formula contained the mood-stabilizer lithium citrate. Sadly, the lithium is gone, but 7UP has recently been reformulated so that it can carry the "100% natural" label—though it still contains the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup. I have to admit that, until today, I hadn't had a 7UP in a long time, and I found the first sniff of it alluring in a Lemon Pledge sort of way. The taste, however, was a bit of letdown. It's fizzy and citric acid-y, but even though the new bottle design features both a lemon and lime wedge, the contents of the bottle don't taste like either one. Given a choice between 7UP and plain seltzer, I would take the 7UP by a nose.

Sprite has less fragrance but more flavor than 7UP, thanks mostly to a limey (the fruit, not the Brit) aftertaste. Although the two citrus contenders are nearly identical in every other nutritional category, Sprite has a lot more sodium—110 mg per bottle versus 65 for 7UP. Sprite's history is not as compelling as 7UP's, although it did come from Germany and give birth of the word "lymon," which as an English major I find perplexing because it's supposed to be a combination of "lemon" and "lime," neither of which contains a "y." Oh well, maybe Fergie used to work in their ad department. Both sodas are light, caffeine-free, and refeshing, but your winner by a TKO is Sprite, for now the World Champion of Mass Market Citrus Sodas. Please proceed to the exits in an orderly fashion, and join us next week for the Root Beer Rumble. (Total Score 7UP 15, Sprite 16)

Monday, January 01, 2007

POP OF THE DAY: Fizzy Lizzy Concord Grape

Category: Adult Contemporary Soda
Ratings (out of 5)
Taste: 5
Fizziness Factor: 4
Bottle/Can Design: 4
Availability: 2

Happy New Year! I had such a swell time toasting the end of 2006 with a bit of the old fizzy grape that I thought I'd keep the ball rolling for my first post of 2007. If you're looking for a soda to help you keep to your New Year's resolution of eating heathily, check out the Fizzy Lizzy line, which boasts an average of 65% actual fruit juice. Fizzy Lizzy Concord Grape only has 51% juice, but it tastes a whole heck of a lot like a concord grape. And that's a damn fine taste, if you ask me, with a good burst of sweetness tamed by a touch of tang. Added bonus: apparently, concord grape juice can help lower your cholesterol. (Total Score 15/20)

Suggested Food Pairings: Stone ground wheat crackers and brie