Early in 2009, the folks at Pepsi noted the growing interest out there in stuff that's not sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup, so they did something that I assume was mainly to test the waters: they introduced Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, which are Pepsi and Mountain Dew sweetened with actual sugar. And both were, shall I say, wonderful. Since we don't drink pop all that often here at Casa Jaquandor, I proceeded to buy a twelve-pack of Pepsi Throwback every week as long as it was available. We still have some in our closet, although I'll have to start replenishing now that the stuff is back on the market.
It's not just the taste that's better; the drinks have a mouth feel that is so different from what I've become accustomed to after years of HFCS. They are less, well, syrupy. Sweetened soft drinks these days always tend to feel heavy in the mouth, as if both thick and thin at the same time. Not so with the Throwback drinks: they taste crisp and clean. It's not at all unlike having real maple syrup on your pancakes after years of using Mrs. Butterworth's. The drinks also smell sweeter, and feel less filling after consuming a full can or bottle.
I just discovered a couple of weeks ago that the current limited run of Throwback sodas now includes Dr. Pepper, which warms the cockles of my heart. I've always loved Dr. Pepper, which I have never had in a sugar-sweetened version (I didn't start drinking it until college). This stuff, called "Heritage Dr. Pepper", is a revelation in a bottle. (I know, sugar-sweetened Dr. Pepper has been available for years via a single bottler in Texas, but I've never thought it important enough to actually try to order some.)
Now, if Coke would get with the program...to taste Coca-Cola in its original, sugar-sweetened formula again would be amazing. (Again, I know that the stuff exists on an annual basis, marketed in Jewish neighborhoods so the Kosher laws can still include Coke around Passover, but I'm not sure if anyplace around here sells it. My own Store doesn't carry it.)