REVIEW: Pepsi Fire

Pepsi Fire

You know what I think’s the big problem with Pepsi’s marketing? They’re too skittish to come out and tell us what they really want to call their products: non-alcoholic colas.

We’re actually seeing this more and more with Pepsi’s line-up of L-T-O products. The first wave of Pepsi 1893 sodas had a distinct gin-like taste, and the recently released Mountain Dew Spiked beverages are clearly meant to ape the alcopop-flavor of stuff like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice. While the newfangled Pepsi Fire soda may be advertised as a cinnamon-flavored cola, one swig of the stuff ought to remind you of an entirely different kind of beverage. Simply put – Pepsi Fire is VODKA-flavored cola.

It’s understandable why Pepsi refrained from marketing the beverage as a hard liquor imitator (obviously, parents groups probably wouldn’t be too keen on a cola manufacturer getting their kids accustom to the taste of high-alcohol-content fermented potato.) But the synthetic vodka taste is just too spot-on to be a coincidence. In an alternate reality, I can imagine the product being sold as Absolut Pepsi with an ad campaign heavily targeted towards millennial consumers – and selling like crazy despite all the media controversy.

Pepsi Fire 2

Alas, Pepsi went the “safe” route and stuck to its cinnamon cola marketing hook. The product isn’t new by any stretch – Pepsi has sold a cinnamon cola beverage with the very same name and almost identical packaging in Southeast Asia on-and-off again for at least two decades (sometimes, coupled with a spearmint-flavored counterpart called Pepsi Ice.)

Since cinnamon is a pretty polarizing flavor, naturally, your mileage will vary on the quality of the soda. While the cinnamon aroma is strong – if not overpowering – when you open the bottle, the actual cinnamon kick isn’t as tastebud-scorching as you’d expect. In fact, the aftertaste kinda’ feels like sipping on a cold glass of ginger ale while chewing some Big Red gum; you’re either going to find it appealing or disgusting, and there’s really no way to tell until you’ve given it a taste test for yourself.

Pepsi Fire 3

The hue of the cola is nice (it’s darker than standard Pepsi but not as atomically vibrant as Mountain Dew Code Red) and it has a nice sparkly, tingly mouthfeel. Oddly enough, it doesn’t taste anything at all like the short-lived Pepsi Holiday Spice, which despite being marketed as a cinnamon cola, had more of a dark cherry kick than anything else. I really can’t think of anything else out there to compare it to, not even Old City Soda’s cinnamon-flavored cola (which is noticeably sweeter and less spicy than Pepsi Fire.)

This is a hard one to score. Just for its uniqueness it’s probably worth a try, even if many drinkers may consider the overall flavor mildly off-putting. If you like cinnamon (or getting sloshed on martinis), I say pick up a 12-pack. But if you harbor a distaste for the spice, do you really need me to tell you stay far, far away from this beverage?

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bottle – 260 calories, 0 grams of fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of total carbohydrates, 69 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 63 milligrams of caffeine..)

Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 20 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Circle K
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: The cinnamon flavor is potent without being too intense. The medley of Pepsi and ginger ale is surprisingly decent. Taking that first swig and instantly recalling your first freshmen year kegger.
Cons: Unless you are a hardcore cinnamon connoisseur, it takes some time to get accustom to the taste. The packaging is really unimpressive. Trying to figure out why Pepsi thought it was a good idea to release a “hot” cola at the very beginning of summer.

91 thoughts to “REVIEW: Pepsi Fire”

  1. Sorry dudes/babes my family since I was in diapers had and drank coke and so I was raised with the other guy so I’m sorry but I’m a Coke guy I just am. Please Don’t get me wrong, I much like and drink frequently the regular Pepsi and I actually really like this Pepsi ? Fire. I have always marveled at Pepsi’s inivative marketing that in my opinion Coke company apparently is oblivious to, their only bright idea was to put names on bottles ooh yeah baby…
    but I’m astonished at the recent price hikes from all the leading soda companies.
    In my area as my in-laws say, soadie pop, a single 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi or Coke varies from $1.79-$1.99 +.10¢ deposit. But and entire 12 pack 12 ounce cans varies from $4.99-$5.99 + deposit. 24 pack. But a 24 pack of 12oz cans from all soda companies range from $7.47-$8.99 + deposit. I’m certainly not a cheapskate not ever. But since soda is priced so crazy anymore..I quit drinking it all together..

  2. This Pepsi Fire is the BEST thing/idea Pepsi has come out with since the 80’s with Pepsi Clear. The cinnamon flavor is GREAT with the Pepsi Cola flavor!!!! This reviews above mine that say that it tastes like “dirty dishwater”; “ass”; “a dirty diaper”; or “as sweaty feet”….. I would like to know why you go around tasting these things? If you had since in you, you would know what good tastes like – it is this. Pepsi needs to not make this a temporary selection. It is a great flavor to enjoy after a long day at work. Pepsi Fire is the Crown Royal among the colas. Mixes great with other “drinks” or just by itself. You decide.

  3. I had a 1.00 off coupon and decided to try this. I like cinnamon, i like fireball. I must have gotten a bad bottle because this did not smell like cinnamon. it had a strong odor of chemicals. Then i tasted it and was disgusted by it. it did not taste like cinnamon at all. worst drink ever. i am a pepsi drinker, this i will not be buying. don’t they have taste testers to try it out first? or do they blindly bottle and sell?

  4. To me its more of a kessler kinda liquor flavor which i’ve had some bad experiences with.
    But where i live it is only 25 cents per bottle because nobody likes it and its not selling.

  5. I’m not usually a Pepsi drinker but really like Pepsi Fire. But definitely a little goes a long way – four ounces at a time, slowly sipped, is enough! Maybe people are making the mistake of chugging too much at once. Or maybe the spice is like stevia – you either love it or hate it. (I personally hate stevia… It has to be drowned out by cane sugar, corn syrup, or fruit juice for me.)

    I was able to find a 20oz bottle in my local grocery store earlier in the summer, but no packs of bottles or cans. I was able to get a 12pk of 12oz cans at a good price through Amazon, but then it disappeared by sometime in August when I tried to order it again.

    I may be reduced to buying Red Hots and seeing how well they dissolve in cola. If the Holiday Spice Pepsi people have mentioned here appears again, I’ll definitely try it.

  6. Although I am not much of a soda drinker, tried this product, and one word to describe this drink is”WOW!”
    Loved the “bite” that it gives the mouth with hot, cinnamon taste, goes great with hot foods like nachos, spicy buffalo wings, etc. Pepsi Fire is “Off the Chain!”
    This product may not be for everyone taste, but I enjoy this pepsi product, and I trying to find out where to buy it … #SuperHotSuperCool!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *