Sandwich went down about as quickly as they usually do. Cracked the bottle, took a drink--why do I taste cherry in this? Oh: cherry diet Pepsi.
I do not like cherry cola.
--which is to say, if it's all there is, I'll drink it, but it sure as hell isn't my preference. So, how did it get into my refrigerator? I would not, after all, have chosen to buy it, not deliberately.
The thing is, there is only one way to tell apart diet Pepsi from diet cherry Pepsi, and that is to scrutinize--very carefully--the label. I usually do; knowing how easy Pepsico made it to confuse the two, I normally check the label to make sure I'm not accidentally picking up cherry. Especially because the current "special edition" labels make the regular stuff look even more like the cherry kind. To be honest, I think they did that on purpose, because that way people will accidentally buy cherry Pepsi.
So, now I'm stuck with five bottles of something I'll only drink in an emergency. *sigh*
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All of that is pretty ironic coming from the guy who used to drink Mr. Pibb. The difference is, Mr. Pibb started out as a cherry-flavored cola. It was meant to be a Dr Pepper clone.
The thing is, adding flavors to cola is a time-honored tradition. The reintroduction of cherry Pepsi (around 1985, 1986) was a throwback to the 1950s or so and the soft drink companies have tried all sorts of different flavorings, with mixed results.
But Dr Pepper and Mr. Pibb, and the other variants, are designed to have the cherry flavoring. Mr. Pibb in particular has a full-bodied flavor that envelops the cherry in a soft bed of other tastes. It's a mellow combination.
Cherry Pepsi, on the other hand? What I like about Pepsi is its acidity; it's got a tang to it. Coke has too much vanilla (among other things) for my taste. Conversely, that means you can add cherry to Coke and it tastes fine. But adding cherry to Pepsi--cherry is an acidic flavor and it does not complement the flavor of Pepsi at all.
The most interesting thing is, all the colas are variations on the same theme. I forget the exact spices used, but I seem to remember that they're all basically different proportions of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and vanilla. (And what the hell happened to the kola nut??) Far from being "secret", the formula for Koka-Kola could be determined by any halfway competent food chemist just by analyzing a sample of the stuff. From there he could easily make his own exact duplicate of it. Actually producing said clone in quantity would get him sued down to his skivvies, but he could do it.
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Gah. I'm getting rid of the rest of this stuff (not even two ounces) and going to bed.