13 Weird Drinks That Weren’t Banned But Probably Should Have Been

There are some discontinued drinks that will forever live on in our memories, even if they never get brought back like Crystal Pepsi did. But for every Pepsi Blue or Surge there are plenty of sodas that have been forgotten in the sands of time, not to mention some that we probably just blocked from our memories.

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1) Burple

Burple was only around for a few short years in the 80s, probably because it wasn’t really anything more than a Kool-Aid-esque powder in an expandable accordion bottle. The idea was it would come all scrunched up, so you’d expand it to fill it with water and mix, then scrunch it back down as you drank it. The best part about it was what you could do with the bottle after you were done: just poke a hole in the lid and you’ve got yourself a pretty effective means of blasting water at people.  We had to get creative in the years before Super Soakers became a thing.

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2) Pepsi A.M.

In the late ’80s, Pepsi apparently decided that the only thing keeping people from drinking soda first thing in the morning was a lack of caffeine. So they came up with the brilliant idea for Pepsi A.M. which had 28% more caffeine than regular Pepsi. Unfortunately for Pepsi, Pepsi A.M. still had about 77% less caffeine than coffee, so stampede of people switching from coffee to Pepsi never happened. Though the drink’s failure could also be related to the fact that very few people are interested in drinking soda for breakfast.

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3) Josta

13 Weird Drinks That Weren't Banned But Probably Should Have Been

It’s hard to imagine a time before energy drinks, but before Red Bull, Monster, or Bawls became household names, we had Josta. Pepsi’s first attempt at an energy drink only lasted 4 short years before it was discontinued. Described as a combination of fruity and spicy, the drink has a loyal cult following who have been begging for its return. While Pepsi’s more likely to bring back something like Pepsi Blue, given the return of all things ’90s, anything is possible.

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4) Slice

13 Weird Drinks That Weren't Banned But Probably Should Have Been

Before Pepsi had Sierra Mist, they had Slice, the fruit-infused soda that would inspire other brands to release similar drinks. The fact Slice was 10% juice made it easier to convince our parents to buy it, but its popularity didn’t really last beyond the ’80s. In 1994 they stopped bothering with the 10% juice content, and in 2000 they gave up for good and the original Lemon-Lime slice got re-branded as Sierra Mist, which to be honest isn’t nearly as good as the original.

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5) Pepsi Twist

13 Weird Drinks That Weren't Banned But Probably Should Have Been

While the idea behind Pepsi Twist makes sense, in reality it seems a little silly. It tasted fine, they managed to find a good balance between a refreshing lemon flavor without it being too sour, but at that point why wouldn’t you just buy a regular Pepsi and add actual lemon to it.

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6) 7Up Gold

13 Weird Drinks That Weren't Banned But Probably Should Have Been

7Up Gold was basically doomed to fail from the get go, since it went against pretty much everything 7Up’s marketing had taught us to expect from them. While basically every other variation they had tried was light, crisp, and fruity, 7Up Gold was darker and spice-based, almost like a darker ginger ale. To make matters worse, at a time when 7Up’s marketing slogan was “Never had it, never will” with the “it” being caffeine, guess what was an ingredient in 7Up Gold? So it wasn’t all that surprising that this one didn’t stick around long.

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7) Hubba Bubba Soda

I love the flavor of bubble gum as much as the next person, but I only really love it as a gum, probably because the flavor itself only lasts about 3 seconds. The idea of drinking it is honestly pretty disgusting, and clearly most people agree with me, seeing as Hubba Bubba soda only really lasted about 2 years or so.

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Just in case you’re wondering, there are drinks even weirder than bubble gum soda…

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8) Orbitz

We all know about the return of all things ’70s that happened in the ’90s, and one of the most popular things to make a comeback was the lava lamp. Well Orbitz was basically what happens when someone looks at a lava lamp and asks “what if we could drink it?” Despite being a “texturally enhanced alternative beverage,” whatever that means, it didn’t actually taste all that bad. What we couldn’t get over was the weird feeling that the tiny orbs of goo left in our mouths, because you should never have to chew your drink.

9) Coca-Cola Blak

13 Weird Drinks That Weren't Banned But Probably Should Have Been

Where to even start with this one? You can practically hear the thought process the executives of Coca-Cola had in coming up with this dumpster fire of an idea: “People like Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola has caffeine, what other beloved drink has caffeine? Coffee. Let’s combine them, what could possibly go wrong?” The answer, as Coca-Cola discovered was everything, everything could go wrong. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Pepsi also decided to jump on this crazy train with their own version called Pepsi Kona. Both have, of course, since been discontinued, so now we can go back to pretending this never existed.

10) Lifesavers Soda

Lifesavers soda is one of those things that works in theory, not so much in practice. Even though the soda itself was actually pretty tasty, everyone assumed that it was just going to taste like a liquid version of the candies (see Hubba Bubba soda for why that might be a problem). As much as people like sweet things, it is possible for something to be too sweet. While the Lifesavers Soda actually managed to avoid that, not enough people believed that it would, and Life Savers went back to focusing just on candy.

11) Snapple Soda

For a brief time, the Snapple known for juices, teas, and lemonades got into the soda game. Their shtick was that no matter the flavor – lemon-lime, passionfruit, root beer – they were always clear. Their Tru Root Beer was probably the most popular, for the sheer novelty of clear root beer if nothing else.

12) dnL

13 Weird Drinks That Weren't Banned But Probably Should Have Been

In case you couldn’t tell by the name, the entire concept behind dnL was to be the exact opposite of 7Up, because clearly they hadn’t learned their lesson from 7Up Gold. While 7Up was caffeine-free, vaguely citrus flavor, and clear in a green can/bottle, dnL had caffeine, a much stronger citrus flavor, and was a green drink and came in a clear bottle (though the can was still green and yellow). Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to understand that people actually like 7Up the way it is, so like the other examples of “brand extensions” that came out in 2002 – including Pepsi Blue and Vanilla Coke – it only lasted a few years before being discontinued.

13) Pepsi Holiday Spice

Pepsi Holiday Spice was basically regular Pepsi, just a lot more…festive, thanks to a hearty helping of cinnamon. It was styled after Sweden’s “julmust,” a popular non-alcoholic drink described as a mix of root beer and spices that is only available around Christmas. Pepsi’s Americanized version was only available for 8 weeks around Christmas in 2004 and again in 2006. North America didn’t take to the flavor the way Sweden did, though it did find a cult following that has since been lobbying Pepsi to bring the spice back to their holidays.

They’ve already brought back Crystal Pepsi, so maybe we’ll see a nostalgic return for some of these forgotten drinks. Let’s just hope it’s not Hubba Bubba soda or Coca-Cola Blak.

Emma C
Freelance Writer