REVIEW: Pepsi Shiso

Written by | July 7, 2009

Topics: 5 Rating, Asian, Pepsi, Soda

Pepsi Shiso

When I opened and smelled the Japanese Pepsi Shiso for the first time, I truly wondered whether or not a Japanese game show was going to break out around me called, “Nomimasu Ka?”, which in English means, “Will you drink it?”

(Note: My Japanese is EXTREMELY POOR. I have retained very little from my two years of Japanese language in college. So my Japanese above may not be correct.)

Every summer, Pepsi releases a limited edition flavor in Japan that can be described somewhere along the spectrum of unusual on one end and fucking weird on the other. In previous years, there’s been a Pepsi Blue Hawaii and a Pepsi Ice Cucumber, both of which landed on the unusual side of the spectrum.

The Pepsi Shiso is more on the fucking weird side.

I guess I find this bathroom cleaner-colored beverage very odd because I’m not familiar with shiso. But thanks to the information clusterfuck known as Wikipedia, I now know shiso is perilla in English, it is an herb in the mint family, and in Japan it is used in salads, spaghetti, meat and fish dishes, and occasionally used as a pizza topping.

Much like the other limited edition Pepsi from Japan I’ve tried, its initial flavor was a little off-putting, but the more I drank the better it seemed to taste, albeit still weird. Unfortunately, there isn’t any real shiso in this bottle filled with a liquid that’s colored like the radioactive rod that gets stuck in Homer Simpsons’ shirt during The Simpsons opening. Since I’ve never tasted shiso, I can’t tell you if this soda’s artificial flavor comes close to it, but I can tell you it tastes like sweetened grass. I also thought there was a cinnamon gum flavor as well, but mostly grass.

If I want drink something that makes my mouth feel like there’s a party going on in it, I’ll drink a rum and Coke or a Hawaiian Punch, but if I want to drink a beverage that makes my mouth feel like there’s photosynthesis going on in it, I’ll definitely drink a Pepsi Shiso.

(Note: Orchid64, who purchased the bottles of Pepsi Shiso for me, reviewed them and so did Mike.)

Item: Pepsi Shiso
Price: 147 yen
Size: 490 ml
Purchased at: Received from Orchid64
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: A little cinnamon gum flavor. It taste a little better the more you drink. It feels like photosynthesis is going on in my mouth. Interesting. Wikipedia.
Cons: Unusual taste. Sweet grassy flavor. Available only in Japan (although if you check eBay, you might be able to pick some up). Doesn’t contain actual shiso. Bathroom cleaner colored. Radioactive rod colored. My knowledge of the Japanese language despite two years of it in college.






20 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Bear Silber says:

    “I truly wondered whether or not a Japanese game show was going to break out around me called, “Nomimasu Ka?” – Hahha.

    Do you enjoy wheatgrass? I actually like the fresh mowed lawn taste of it. Does this taste anything like that….’cause if it does I think I’d actually like it.

    I bet there is some little Japanese dude that gets a kick out of making these flavors up each year and seeing the people go gaga over ‘em (if that’s actually what they’re doing across the lake there).

  2. Erin Brooks says:

    Did your pee turn green after drinking that stuff lol.

  3. Orchid64 says:

    I haven’t seen shiso on pizza, but I so could believe that it has been sold on it. The Japanese will put anything on pizza. One of these days, there’s going to be a pair of schoolgirl’s panties on it.

  4. chocopinda says:

    I wanna have Pepsi crystal. It was soooo good.

    :) But the green stuff looks amazing too. I want tho try it.

  5. Sarah says:

    I’d like to try this.

    Russians have an herbal soda called Tarkhun which is apparently supposed to be tarragon-flavored, but which is mostly just green and fizzy and weird. It also gets better the more you drink it and is frequently a very unnatural green color.

  6. Heidi says:

    I don’t know… they may claim it’s an herb and color it green, but I still think it’s disguised pee.

  7. Marvo says:

    @Bear Silber: I’ve had a few wheatgrass shots in my lifetime. This soda and doesn’t taste like that. It has a sweeter taste.

    @Erin Brooks: My pee is always green. Is that normal?

    @Orchid64: Schoolgirl panty pizza? It has a nice ring to it.

    @chocopinda: When, yeah I said when, Pepsi brings back Crystal Pepsi, millions of people will rejoice.

    @Sarah: Tarkhun seems like a good name for an energy drink.

    @Heidi: I would urinate into a bottle and add some green food coloring and then drink it to compare, but I have a hard time peeing into a bottle.

  8. angry bob says:

    Many bad things taste better as you drink more of them, usually because they’re killing your taste buds, brain cells, or both.

  9. Neil says:

    What the hell kinda shit is this. If I wanted to mow my grass then strain it and drink it i would. Pepsi needs to be cola color and taste like pepsi not pea shoots.

    THAT IS ALL

  10. brad says:

    What if that’s not all, Neil? You might’ve left out something important.

  11. brad says:

    also, someone on twitter said something about Hawaii getting nuked. glad to see you’re not radioactive, Marvo. although that soda might be

  12. Villain says:

    Hey Marvo,

    I’m not sure that I’d like this, but I do have to wonder if you drink enough, that you might get one of those 50 foot building destroying robots that reek havoc in Tokyo! ahem sorry, just a personal wish!

  13. skibs says:

    photosynthesis mouth…heheh.
    The last drink of this color that I truly loved was Hi-C Ecto Cooler.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdARlTpw_Y0
    Now that was a great beverage.

  14. Marvo says:

    @angry bob: So I guess all of my reviews are wrong. Time for a new blog. Perhaps one that reviews restrooms.

    @Neil: You need a little variety in your life.

    @brad: It was just North Korea trying to compensate for a tiny penis by launching seven rockets. Lil’ Kim just wanted some attention.

    @Villain: I would like a 50 foot robot.

    @skibs: Oh, I miss Ghostbusters. I can’t wait for the third movie.

  15. Fran says:

    Gotta be better than wasabi ice cream. Though the rose and wine flavoured stuff was good. I wouldn’t try this one.

  16. Bear Silber says:

    Wauhwaaa?!? Wasabi ice cream. I want that! Where do I get that?

  17. Chuck says:

    The world would be so boring if Japanese products like this didn’t exist.

  18. grinder says:

    I love the smell of fresh cut grass, and even have a perfume that smells a bit like it, but eating that flavour is a different story. I would still try it though.

  19. Marvo says:

    @Fran: Wasabi ice cream intrigues me. I don’t really like wasabi, but yet as a reviewer I would like to try it.

    @Bear Silber: Ditto.

    @Chuck: I agree, but I wish big American companies would have the balls to produce weird products like this.

    @grinder: if you really want to try it, you can get some on eBay or via Jlist.

  20. Nhiro says:

    My roommate was just telling me about this. He was in Asia studying abroad and his Japanese tour guide friend told him the green Pepsi tasted like shit. Of course, I’m in the Coca Cola camp, so you won’t catch me trying this anytime soon.



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