REVIEW: Pepsi Salty Watermelon (Japan)

Salty Watermelon Pepsi 1

Ah, the watermelon. Citrullus lanatus. The Summer Mistress. The Red Witch. Queen of the Fireflies. The Seedy Lady. The Damsel of Rind Street.

No matter which name you grew up using, Her Watery Majesty never fails to call to mind the carefree days of summer and youth well spent. Hot dogs, Slip ‘N Slides, sandy beaches and the unattainable girl I was in love with who lived next to my grandparents. Sigh. I’m not sure any fruit is more imbued with the power of nostalgia than the humble watermelon.

So with summer drawing to a humid close, let us not forget what the summer of 2012 has brought us. You can proudly tell your future grandchildren that you were at home watching with bated breath the night Michael Phelps did all of those important swimming things that he did. You can tell them that, yes, you camped out in the midnight line for Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection.

And, while nestled cozily in your underground cavern, you can explain to them that you stayed up late to watch the U.S. land the robot on Mars that would ultimately lead to the Martian invasion that nearly eradicated the human race.

It’s been an exciting few months.

And to mark all of these historic occasions, the Japanese arm of Pepsi has released their latest limited time only summer flavor, Salty Watermelon.

I’ve only had one experience with a Japanese Pepsi product and that was with their Pepsi Pink, a strawberry and milk flavored beverage that was released late in 2011. The name Pepsi Pink was a little misleading, as the drink itself was a unique soda entity that didn’t really retain any of the original Pepsi properties.

Pepsi Salty Watermelon is more true to its moniker. Upon opening the bottle, the first thing that surprised me was its nosegrope. There seemed to be some remnant of the original namesake beverage. I could detect both Pepsi and watermelon. The watermelon scent was not overpowering, but smelled a little like the artificial watermelon flavor found in so many hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, et al). But just a little.

That’s really what I was expecting this to be. Just a very sweet, very candy watermelon soda. But it’s not at all. I could still taste Pepsi. Actually, I tasted mostly Pepsi. The watermelon flavor that is weaved in is surprisingly subtle and only really makes its mark after you swallow, and then most strongly if you open your mouth to breathe. The watermelon is almost an afterthought. And it doesn’t taste like Jolly Ranchers at all, but is a pretty good approximation of actual watermelon.

The soda is also not very sweet. I don’t think I’d call it salty, but the sweetness has been scaled back considerably. It’s also very finely carbonated and has a fairly dry finish. Overall, it definitely drinks like a beverage for adults. A lot of forethought and restraint went into this drink. A sugary candy explosion it is not.

Salty Watermelon Pepsi 2

I like the bottle design. Can’t go wrong with a watermelon and a beach. And I am a fan of the slender bottles used in Japan. The color of Pepsi Salty Watermelon leaves a little to be desired though. It’s not quite watermelon red. Just sort of pinkish, I guess. But who cares? Close enough.

Salty Watermelon Pepsi 3

This is an interesting beverage. It’s not at all what I was expecting. Pepsi Japan continues to offer the world an interesting array of seasonal flavors while we in the U.S. continue to chug the same old same old. Sigh.

Pick up a bottle of Pepsi Salty Watermelon if you can. It’s good. And hurry up, the stupid fall is right around the corner.

(Thanks to wonderful Impulsive Buy reader Michele for sending us bottles of Pepsi Salty Watermelon from Japan.)

(Nutrition Facts – 100 ml – 42 kcal, 0 grams of protein, 0 grams of fat, 19 milligrams of sodium, 10.5 grams of carbohydrates.)

Item: Pepsi Salty Watermelon (Japan)
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 490 mL
Purchased at: Somewhere in Japan 
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Watermelonic accuracy. Restraint. Yellow plastic and garden hoses. Making up nicknames for fruit.
Cons: You’ll probably never get to try it. Martian invasions. Lost loves named Lindsey.

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