Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cinnamon Flavored Pepsi: Delicious? Or Medicinal Nightmare?

Pepsi FIRE (Cinnamon Soda) -  Wawa
Pepsi is finally bringing some wacky limited-run flavors state-side and, while I'm normally all for trying Wacky Pepsi products, I just don't know about this one. 
Normally, I love cinnamon. I use cinnamon sticks to infuse my water (with apple slices), I bury homemade pancakes in a spicy dust-storm's-worth, and I completely coat apple slices for my mid-day desk snack (which is the best and only way to eat apples.) So yeah, I love eating stuff with cinnamon, but I pretty much hate it everywhere else. Cinnamon mouthwash or toothpaste? No thanks! Big Red Gum? I'm more of a DoubleMint girl. Those decorative cinnamon pinecones? Too intense. 
Knowing that, I'm not sure how this review it going to go. I guess we'll find out...
Pepsi's branding is constantly evolving to maintain it's cool-kid status. For as long as I can remember Pepsi has targeted younger generations with whatever was trending at the time. Remember all those cool Pepsi commercials in the 90's? Like the ones with the Spice Girls? (Speaking of Spice Girls, remember when I ate that ancient Spice Girl's Lollipop from eBay?) Nothing has changed. Pepsi focuses on fleeting fads and trends to boost it's marketability.  
It's red, white, and blue logo has simplified to near-emoji-status, and the "Pepsi" typeface keeps getting smaller and thinner. The logo itself takes up a bulk of the label along with the word "Fire," and pretty much everything else falls to the wayside. 
Pepsi is REALLY embracing the whole emoji thing. Not only does their logo look like one, but they sold bottles with various emoji on them. It was their attempt at rivaling the "Share a Coke with ______," campaign. (Since most people don't seek out specific emojis like they do names of loved ones, it was pretty unsuccessful.) 
I don't hate this label, and I actually prefer Pepsi to coke products, but this looks like it's trying too hard to be cool. 
Opened, the soda smells...not great. The aroma is a mixture of gummy cola bottles, and cinnamon scented candles. It's not an entirely unappealing aroma, but it reminds me of these fancy herbal sodas I bought at Whole Foods years ago. Way too medicinal for my tastes.  
I took a sip, and I was pleasantly surprised by the spicy kick that hit the back of my throat. It's a warm, spiced, sensation that makes me think of spiced tea in winter. Loved the spiciness, but I was not at all a fan of the flavor. It tastes medicinal, like a throat drop, or like I just gargled with cinnamon mouth wash and followed that with a Pepsi chaser. It's not completely awful, or undrinkable, but I certainly do not enjoy it. 
The spicy back of the throat kick really is something, even though I didn't care for the taste, I kept coming back for more just to keep the spiciness going. It's just like that spicy Jin Ja drink I used to rave about. (Which also came from Whole Foods.) I really like the idea of a spicy soda, but maybe cinnamon wasn't the way to go. Ginger is the go-to spicy soda flavoring, so maybe a mainstream Pepsi with ginger would have been better, but that isn't what we got. Also, this is not going to be quenching anyone's thirst. This soda left my throat feeling drier, making me drink more water to satisfy that dry scratchy feeling.
This isn't a great soda, but it is an interesting concept, and I would love to see more limited edition Pepsi flavors here in the states. Let's hope this doesn't flop too hard, I'd hate for this to squash my chances for an American Halloween Pepsi in the future. (Fingers crossed.) 
*P.S. I wanted a second opinion, but my boyfriend refused to even try this soda and my sister thought it was gross based on sight alone.   
*P.P.S. Boyfriend caved and tried it. He absolutely hated it. Said, "It tastes like burning."
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