REVIEW: Pepsi Blue (2021)

Pepsi Blue 2021 Bottle

Nostalgia is a heck of a thing.

Sometimes it can drive us to make questionable decisions like almost buying a $160 17-year-old bottle of a discontinued soft drink. Luckily for me, Pepsi decided to do a re-released, limited run of Pepsi Blue hence saving me from a financial error as well as a trip to the doctor.

I had occasionally thought of the drink over the years and wondered if I had just imagined it (hence the eBay searches). But it is very real, and that the bizarrely satisfying flavor of berry cola was mine again to drink.

Pepsi Blue was a weird blip in the timeline of soft drinks. Having a US-wide release in 2002, it would only be around for a little under two years before being pulled from US markets. Described as “Berry with a splash of Cola,” its bright blue color along with unique flavor was another attempt by Pepsi to capture the youth market. You have to also appreciate this was the peak time where Britney Spears was the face of Pepsi.

If I’m being entirely honest, I probably wouldn’t have tried this back in the early aughts if not for my school board making a (highly controversial) deal with Pepsi to put vending machines in the schools. To help sweeten the deal, they did giveaways of their newest product to help win us over. The product? Pepsi Blue.

I tried to not get too excited as I raced home to try it. I had been disappointed by re-released or retooled products brought back to cash in on nostalgia (looking at you Coke with Coffee). I reassured myself it was probably going to taste different due to different ingredients and my own tastes changing. After delaying the inevitable, I went ahead and opened the bottle.

Pepsi Blue 2021 Glass

The smell immediately triggered a strong memory of my middle school cafeteria. The berry sugar smell instantly reminded me of the many hours spent sitting at the uncomfortable tables, trying to scribble down something for class while shoving undercooked tater tots in my face.

The first sip was overwhelming in the best way. It tasted exactly how I remembered. The sweet berry-cotton candy like flavor hits first, followed by the cola taste. It’s almost an indescribable flavor profile. It’s not a cola with berry flavor (like Wild Cherry Pepsi), but a berry flavor with a hint of cola.

The best way I could think to describe it is this: imagine berry-flavored cotton candy packed into a cup. Now take an original Pepsi and slowly drip a little into the cup, letting it dissolve the cotton candy. That’s probably about as close as you can get to explaining the flavor to someone who has never tried it.

Nostalgia and middle school memories aside, Pepsi Blue is an extremely sweet (like 138% of your recommended daily sugar sweet), but enjoyable one-of-a-kind treat. In all the years since trying it for the first time, nothing else has ever even come close to it. It is also wonderful that a re-released item lived up to my memory of it when so many others have failed.

According to Pepsi, it will have an extremely limited run. So I would recommend, if you are at all interested, to give it a try. I look forward to it being re-released in another 20 years where I can wax poetic about when I tried it again in my 30s.

Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 20 oz bottle
Purchased at: Walmart Neighborhood Market
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 260 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 69 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

32 thoughts to “REVIEW: Pepsi Blue (2021)”

  1. I have a bottle of Pepsi Blue right here in front of me. It’s fine, but not very easy to distinguish from a Berry Fanta (both in color and in flavor).

    1. I bought a Pepsi Blue by mistake. Pepsi has multiple flavors of Pepsi all with red, white and blue labels. Tried it. It was as bad as I had expected. I’ll be careful and read each bottle label in the future to make sure I get regular Pepsi. Can’t switch to Coke because I’m white.

    1. I need to know also. I want to try but extremely sensitive and cant have caffeine. Hoping since its a “spash of cola” it would at least be a minimal amount 🙁

  2. Wow…I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything rated 10/10 on here.

  3. If only I could find some, lol.

    Now they need to bring back Holiday Spice Pepsi

  4. Please post where you find it. I live in Maryland, it’ll probably never get here but I can dream. Also I’m a Pepsi collector so I NEED THAT BOTTLE!

    1. Haha, I’ve seen it around here in NKY/Cincinnati. I’ll buy you a bottle and ship it hehe.

  5. Probably not for me: sounds way too sweet. But I *love* the description–kudos! “The best way I could think to describe it is this: imagine berry-flavored cotton candy packed into a cup. Now take an original Pepsi and slowly drip a little into the cup, letting it dissolve the cotton candy. That’s probably about as close as you can get to explaining the flavor to someone who has never tried it.” 🙂 🙂

    1. I scrolled down to comment on this as well. Although I have no interest in blue drinks in general, I give props to the epic taste description. :applauds:

  6. Back when this was first available, I probably would have rated it 15/10. I’m really pissed off that I haven’t found it in my area, yet.

  7. The year these came out, they would hand these out at the Pepsi Center here in Denver as fans were leaving hockey games, and one time they gave us a whole CASE so we had a ton of this stuff, and while I remember it being okay, I got sick of it pretty quickly and also it turns your poop a very bizarre color.

    1. Be fun to give this to your kids and not warn them about the poop factor. 🙂 🙂

  8. I remembered Pepsi Blue super fondly, and it’s great to have it back. Hearing “super limited” certainly is a bummer. It’s not as sweet as I remember it but it definitely has that unique flavor profile that I loved. I barely get cotton candy, not nearly as much as I remember. The berry and is more prominent too than I remembered. Might be my taste buds being quite different than 13 year old me back in the day. Kid me says 10/10 while adult me says 8/10 with 2 points for nostalgia.

  9. Huh. When I got it, I thought it tasted like carbonated mouth wash and I dumped it when I got home. I usually never waste anything no matter how bad it is, but I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I’m perplexed to say the least by this review. 0 out of 10.

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