For better or worse (mostly worse), I’ve always been a big fan of soda, so when I was a senior in high school in Florida in the early ’90s, I was over the moon that my area would get to try Crystal Pepsi before some other parts of the country. Then I tasted the underwhelming clear cola for myself. Now, more than 20 years later, Pepsi gets to introduce a new generation of cola lovers to that same unique disappointment, with a limited time re-release of Crystal Pepsi that we’re pretty sure the world could have done without.
In a press release apparently written by someone who either has no memory of the 1990s or doesn’t understand what “iconic” means, PepsiCo says that “overwhelming fan demand” has given the company no other choice but to fill a few bottles with the “iconic 90s [sic] clear beverage.”
Um, Crystal Pepsi was barely around for a year, and its reputation is primarily that of an overhyped failure, so dubbing the drink “iconic” is like calling Cop Rock an iconic piece of TV history, or saying Ryan Leaf is a football icon. We guess “infamous” or “frequently mocked” doesn’t read as well in a press release.
Regardless, those who genuinely think they have fond memories of Crystal Pepsi can join those who will purchase it ironically in clamoring for the stuff when 20 oz. bottles hit store shelves July 7, with a scheduled end date of Aug. 8.
Who knows, maybe I’m just old and bitter and completely wrong. Maybe we’re actually standing on the precipice of a clear cola boom — a true Crystal Pepsi generation. Or maybe there will be lots of half-finished bottles of Crystal Pepsi filling up recycling bins in the hot summer sun.