Monday, June 29, 2009
There's a commercial from the 70's for an American dish washing liquid called "Palmolive". The catch phrase for the commercial is "you're soaking in it." If you haven't seen the commercial, here it is on YouTube:
Now, you might reasonably guess what this has to do with Pepsi Shiso. First of all, they're both green and smell like cleaning fluid of some sort. Shiso (known as Perilla in English) is an herb from the mint family and the scent of this Pepsi is a mixture of pine, mint, and fennel. The pine in particular along with the color really reminds you of the sort of thing you'd use to scrub your floors. The smell is quite potent. My husband likened it to Palmolive as well as Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo. Note that comparisons to food weren't really on the table.
I think that I was more reluctant to taste this than anything I have ever sampled before. The idea of shiso flavoring didn't trouble me, but after smelling it, I was none too keen on drinking it. The first drink really wasn't too bad. I told my husband, "it doesn't taste as bad as it smells." He suggested that Pepsi use that as a slogan in marketing this beverage.
The flavor definitely carries a bit of a soapiness to it because it seems a bit perfume-like. It has a quasi-mint aftertaste and a strong pine-like front end. There really does not seem to be any "Pepsi" flavor in the mix at all. Because the first sip of it wasn't too bad, I was actually inclined to give it a rating higher than Pepsi White at first, but the second and third sips were leading to a really bad build-up of the strong herbal flavors. It became pretty unbearable about 2/3 of the way through the small glass I poured. I nearly got to the bottom, before my stomach started to rebel and twist up a bit in knots. The rest of it is going down the drain, though perhaps first I should see about cleaning the toilet with it.
This is what I'd call a noble effort on Pepsi's part to infuse a unique and interesting flavor into their drink. If it were muted a bit, it might work, or it may render calling it "Shiso" irrelevant much in the way that Green Tea Coke was so subtle as to not really taste much like tea. At any rate, unless you want to try washing your hair in Pepsi, I'd recommend giving this a miss.