Beverages having nitrogen in them isn’t a new concept. Its origins go as far back as the 1950s with Guinness beer. In the 2010s, the first wave of nitro cold brew coffee hit the scene. It was only a matter of time before we got the first nitro soda from a big brand.
Nitro Pepsi comes in two flavors, Draft Cola and Vanilla Draft Cola, and is described as a “smooth, creamy, delicious taste experience” that “will redefine cola for years to come.”
To properly enjoy it, it’s recommended to use the right glass (pint glass), make sure the soda is cold, and follow the instructions to “pour hard.” It’s also suggested to refrain from using ice or straws with it. When popping the can open, an almost eerie noise accompanies the usual sounds. This, I found out in my research, was the “widget” at the bottom of the can that aids the nitro process.
It feels so weird to just dump the entire can upside down (hard pour) as I’ve spent my 30+ years perfecting the cautious soda pour, but I trust the process. I started with the Draft Cola flavor to get a baseline of what to expect. While taking my first sip, the most delightful layer of cola-flavored foam greeted me. It had a rich, creaminess to it that reminded me of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
The drink itself was confusing at first. The sweet, familiar Pepsi flavor is there, but the texture sent my brain into a quick momentary confusion loop. It tasted like Pepsi, but it didn’t drink like Pepsi. The crispness you expect from the soda isn’t there. With the first sip, it’s easy to feel the drink might be flat. However, to describe the beverage that way is an unfair assessment. The more I sipped, the more the drink’s complexity showed. The nitro process creates incredibly tiny bubbles that give the beverage a richness you don’t get with flat soda.
The Vanilla Draft Cola offered the same experience but with sweet vanilla flavor, and it translated slightly better into the nitro process than the regular cola. It threw my brain less for a loop, but that could also be due to knowing what to expect. Its flavor tasted exactly like the last one-third of an ice cream float where the soda is less carbonated and mixed with the melted ice cream.
Nitro Pepsi is a unique item that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I feel like it will be a polarizing product. If you try it without expecting it to drink like a regular Pepsi, I think you’ll have a more enjoyable experience.
Purchased Price: $1.88
Size: 13.65 oz
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Cola), 9 out of 10 (Vanilla Cola)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 230 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 63 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 63 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.