Review: Pepsi Holiday Spice


Back in August I learned that Pepsi would be rolling out a limited edition beverage for the Christmas season. They seem to be doing a lot of short-term ideas as of late, including Mountain Dew Pitch Black (Fall 2004) and Mountain Dew LiveWire (originally Summer 2003, now available full-time). What really puzzled me, however, was the name of this new beverage. I mean, who calls a pop Pepsi Holiday Spice?

Pepsi Holiday Spice

Just the idea of combining cola and spices seemed extremely disgusting. One wondered if you could emulate the taste of Holiday Spice by taking a spoonful of cinnamon, a spoonful of ginger, and swig of Pepsi… and shoving all of it into your mouth at once (not recommended). It just seemed like a crazy idea to combine seasonal flavoring to a tried-and-true beverage. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to give it a try, as I really liked the nostalgic design of the packaging, which depicted Pepsi’s old bottling plant along the East River in Queens, New York.

The other day I found this beverage at my local Walgreen’s so it was time to give it the Official Steve Tanner Review! Overall, I was pretty happy with it. The packaging provides this overview:

Celebrate the season with family, friends and new Pepsi Holiday Spice. It’s a festive blend of holiday spices and great tasting Pepsi. But it’s only around through the season, so this is one gift you’ll want to open early. And often!

Pepsi is going out of their way to portray a warm, nostalgic feel to this beverage. They are also using an animated gingerbread man on the Web and in advertising to get the word out about this new taste.

Pepsi Holiday Spice - Website

Mr. Gingerbread loves Holiday Spice!

The color of the drink is reddish in tone, similar to what you’d find in Dr. Pepper Red Fusion. I’m not exactly sure what “holiday spices” were used in flavoring this product, but the resulting palatability is actually very good! It mostly tastes like regular Pepsi, but with a different finish and aftertaste. Slightly bitter, it’s a refreshing take on Pepsi without being too overpowering. The approach is similar to the infusion of lemon in Pepsi Twist.

I would imagine that this beverage would make a good mixer drink in bars and at holiday parties. The novelty also seems to be aimed at taking on Coke’s traditional move of packaging their flagship product in glass Santa bottles every Christmas. It’s an innovative move for Pepsi, who seems to be having quite a fun time coming up with new “limited” ideas as of late. This marketing approach seems to be working pretty well for them, so who’s to argue?

I recommend this drink. If you want something different as your get ready to hang the Christmas lights, listen to holiday music, or gather with your family, give Pepsi Holiday Spice a try. I think you’ll like it!