That was unexpected: Mango Pepsi is good!

Before I get to this brief soda recommendation, I should note that I am generally in favor of fruit-flavored colas. When given a choice between regular Coca-Cola and Cherry Coke, I will pick cherry 10 of 10 times. Same with Pepsi.

The thing is, though, not all fruits work well in cola, or perhaps it’s that the cola makers aren’t always implementing the fruit flavor well. I’m glad those companies try it out, though, even if the results wind up tasting too much like window cleaner for me (Lime Pepsi: talkin’ to you). More variety in soda-pops is always good by me.

Another relevant tidbit of information here is that, as a Midwesterner, I’ve only had approximately two (2) good mangoes in my entire life. One of my theories is that I live too far from mango-growing zones, and I gather that the ripeness window of a mango is somewhat narrow. I’m also apparently not skilled enough to be able to pick good, ripe mangoes from the grocery store. Most of the time, fresh mango I eat is too meaty-savory tasting, or too woody, or too flavorless (and the difficulty I have in cutting one up is embarrassing, just as an extra bit of unpleasantness). So usually, I say “pass” on mangoes themselves, and am only lukewarm on most mango-flavored stuff (candies and ice creams, mostly).

So how is it that I’ve come to think Mango Pepsi whips so much ass? It’s amazing. I entered into this flavor experience not expecting much, and that might have helped that first taste make a good impression. But if it was just the soft-drink bigotry of low expectations, then why did I go back for another and another, and then a six-pack of it? Why am I really sad that I’m drinking my last one right now? This is more than just good first impressions at work: This is a very good cola.

Pepsi found a near-perfect balance between the earthy undertones of mango flavor and the deeper, more bitter-savory notes in cola. Then the sweet part of the mango flavor profile — a bright , juicy sensation — locks hands with the well-documented extra sweetness of Pepsi and sky-dances into the sun, via my taste buds.

It must be fairly popular, because I’m seeing it offered in more and more cold cases at grocers and retailers where I live. If it sounds like it could be your thing, I recommend you give it a try. I hope it’s not just a limited-time deal, because I could use some of this bottled tropicalia year-round.

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