Pepsi released a limited edition seasonal flavor just in time for the holidays. That’s right, Pepsi Pumpkin Spice! Just kidding, that would make far too much sense. No, Pepsi put out a salted caramel flavor for reasons known only to them.
For the record, I really enjoy salted caramel. My first introduction to the combination was through Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008. The smoked salt caramels from Fran’s in Seattle were one of his favorite treats while on the campaign and the story got a lot of attention. Around that same time I found a package of them in a hospital gift shop and fell in love. Over the past decade I’ve seen salted caramels on dozens of restaurant menus, ice cream flavors, and even in giant containers at Costco. It’s still delicious.
I was skeptical that salted caramel would work when paired with Pepsi, but once again Pepsi surprised me. The flavor seemed to me about 75% Pepsi and 25% caramel. They list salt on the ingredients but I didn’t taste much, which was probably for the best. While I don’t love Pepsi on its own, the mixture of Pepsi and caramel made both a little more interesting. The caramel flavor really came through (reminded me of those cheap little caramel squares) and the cola flavorings added a bit of spice to that familiar taste. It wasn’t cloyingly sweet, and the flavor was much deeper and nuanced than I had anticipated. If it was in a glass bottle with a hipster name I probably would have been more impressed.
Ultimately, I enjoyed it, but not to the point that I’ll go out and buy another bottle anytime soon. I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup and Sucralose, and this soda has both. Sucralose usually creates a hollow (and fleeting) sweetness, but Pepsi managed the blend well enough that I didn’t notice…but I’d still rather have less natural sugar than have more artificial sweetener. I’ll give it a 6.9 out of 10 on my rating scale, and if you’re on the fence then I’d encourage you to go out and get a bottle.
I’ve heard you can find it at Target, but I located this bottle inside a gas station convenience store. Your results may vary. To see my reviews of other Pepsi products, click here. Also, don’t forget to like me on Facebook.