90s, Food, Quick Lists — April 11, 2012 8:33 am

6 Sodas You Won’t Be Tasting Again

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There’s a cool breeze on a summer day.  Everyone has the day off work and you’re firing up the grill.  The sweet sounds of Papa Roach hop over your fence and permeate the air throughout the block.  Neighbors stop by for good food and friendship, but something is missing: soda.  Rushing to the store, you attempt to grab a few staple favorites.  Unfortunately, everyone else in the world is throwing a barbeque party and all that’s left is Big K Black Cherry cola.  You decide you’d be better off checking out your storage unit on the way home for some ancient treasures.

You score big time with several sodas that have been discontinued for years.  Everyone loves the accidental nostalgia element and your party is a big hit.  The down side?  Your neighbors drank every last can of soda.  Even if they don’t fall ill, here are six sodas you won’t be tasting again.

6 – Crystal Pepsi

It seemed like such a good idea not total disaster at the time.

Crystal Pepsi is more popular in legend than it ever was in sales.  It was marketed as regular Pepsi, but clear.  I recall preferring the taste of Crystal Pepsi to, uh, “normal” Pepsi until it was reformulated as a citrus drink.  Apparently, a new incarnation branded as Pepsi Clear was briefly available in Mexico in 2005.  If you live in the states, though, you haven’t safely tasted it since 1993.

UPDATE: In 2015, Crystal Pepsi sorta, kinda returned! And we might see more of this in 2016!

5 – Citra

The only video proof this existed is a very strange behind the scenes clip from a commercial shoot.

Leave it to Coke and Pepsi to battle back and forth with the B-list drinks.  After Crystal Pepsi was turned into a citrus drink, Coke introduced Citra.  This grapefruit flavored syrupy beverage was somewhere in taste between Squirt and Fresca.  Hot off the trails of Surge, Citra was basically the flip-side song of sodas.  Though it never gained a strong following, it is surprisingly still available today under the guise of Fanta Grapefruit.

4 – Josta

Awkward conversations with grandpa never tasted so good.

Guarana was the magical ingredient in Josta, a panther themed soda whose side effect included spicing up life in the bedroom.  Talk about unique!  Nothing else really compares to this drink, which is a shame because it actually tasted pretty good.  Recipes can be found online to simulate the flavor, but nothing comes close to the original.

3 – Surge

Check out that gnarly logo.

In another soda war, Coke directly tackled Mountain Dew with the introduction of Suuuuurrrrrgggggeeee.  These days, the winner couldn’t be more obvious, but it was a close call at the time.  Surge developed a strong loyal Internet following with literally dozens of fans demanding its return.  I once knew a guy who had a secret stash of leftover Surge stock, years after its discontinuation.  Needless to say, he wasn’t sharing.  My other Surge story involves accidentally drinking an entire can that a colony of giants ants had moved into overnight.  Can’t say I ever feel too nostalgic about this one.

UPDATE: In 2014, Surge made a comeback as an exclusive online product sold in tall cans!  Could any other sodas on this list be next?

2 – Pepsi Blue

I drank half a bottle of this once.  Just once.

Ever throw store brand gummy sharks in a blender and drink it?  If you have, then you’ve pretty much made your own homebrew version of Pepsi Blue.  Neither delicious nor nutritious, the pernicious beverage stung taste buds across the land.  Like every other discontinued soda between 1991 and 2005, this also has a strong loyal following in online communities.  Keep an eye out for it in Garfield: The Movie.

1 – TaB Clear

The strangest marketing campaign ever for a clear diet soda.

In what had to be the biggest blunder of the soda wars, Coke released TaB Clear as an answer to Crystal Pepsi.  In their defense, they had no way of knowing Crystal Pepsi would be a complete commercial failure.  One strike against them, however, for thinking they could actually market TaB as a beverage people would pay money for.  On top of that, this clear beverage was only available in cans.  Guess someone didn’t get the memo that the clear gimmick was the entire selling point of this soda.

Did we miss your favorite soda you won’t be tasting again?  Tell us about it in the comments below!


  • I liked Crystal Pepsi a lot. While it was out, that was the only Pepsi my family bought.

    I also know a guy who had a Surge stash. And somehow he had a Surge alarm clock, which alternatively, I had no interest in owning.


  • Gah that Pepsi Blue stuff was potent! My father has an auto repair shop with a tiny cooler in the office and I remember the Pepsi guy at the time rolling in a few pallets of Pepsi Blue to him for FREE because they couldn’t get rid of their stock.

  • OK Soda.

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