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Is Pepsi okay?

Jasz Oct 28, 2010 07:06 PM

I don't ordinarily drink pop but once in a while I go wild at a restaurant and order one, or try to. I don't want regular so generally the choice is limited to a diet cola (I SO wish we could get brewed unsweetened ice tea up here—Calgary, Canada—but that doesn't seem to be happening). Often when I say "Diet Coke" the response is "Is Pepsi okay?" It's not as I dislike the aftertaste.

My questions:
1. How many people have a preference vs. how many really don't care? Could also be regular Coke vs. Pepsi, 7-Up vs. Sprite, whatever.

2. What low-cal, non-alcoholic, cold drink can you suggest for times I just want something other than the water I usually get at Pepsi places? I sometimes go with cranberry-and-soda or oj-and-soda; anything else?

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  1. m
    Maximilien RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 07:30 PM

    The only "soft drink" I drink is the brown stuff, either coca-cola (diet, zero or normal once in a while), when eating out, on the rare occasion I order it and they say "pepsi ok?" I say yes no problem.

    I can't stand the 7-up, sprite or other citrus type soft drinks, they taste too sweet and ordinary.

    The other soft-drink I drink is Ginger-Ale, but I think I only drink this when flying, so, 3, 4 times a year.

    Other than that, I order water, and depending on the mood, can be sparkling or flat.

    Max.

    1. b
      blue_blanket RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 07:32 PM

      I prefer Pepsi over Coke when I am drinking the sugary kind.
      But I prefer Coke Zero over any other diet pop, and cannot just substitute for what's there.
      So it's water w/lemon for me, in those cases.

      1. c
        Cathy RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 07:36 PM

        Hot tea with a glass of ice. Make your own iced tea...

        I order this way on airplanes: can't stand the canned ice tea.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cathy
          enbell RE: Cathy Oct 28, 2010 11:07 PM

          Exactly my suggestion :) My preference is diet pepsi though...

        2. KaimukiMan RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 08:10 PM

          Some people are very particular about their cola choice (Coke or Pepsi), others not so much. And that goes for fully leaded (corn syrup and caffeine) to sugar free/cafeine free. Unbiased research seems to indicate that people prefer the first sip of Pepsi, but after drinking a whole glass, prefer Coke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi_Ch...) yeah, i know wikipedia...etc.

          )

          I can tell the difference, pepsi is sweeter, coke has more of a bite. At least to me, and I prefer coke, which is a problem as the father of a good friend of mine works for pepsi (I am allowed in the house, but only under duress.) But most restaurants serve one or the other. If I really want a cola, I will drink pepsi, but often don't finish the glass, I always finish off the coke... but for the most part have cut consumption down tremendously from a couple of years ago, especially since I can't stand the aftertaste of diet sodas of any kind, including coke zero.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KaimukiMan
            f
            FrankD RE: KaimukiMan Oct 30, 2010 10:17 PM

            "Unbiased research seems to indicate that people prefer the first sip of Pepsi, but after drinking a whole glass, prefer Coke"

            Malcolm Gladwell covered this in one of his New Yorker pieces (so it's not just Wikipedia). Pepsi is a bit sweeter than Coke, so the first sip is more appealing, but yes, it gets a bit boring after a while.

          2. erikschwarz RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 09:53 PM

            Mexican Coke. Have not yet tried Pepsi Throwback, which like Mexican Coke is made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup, so I cannot speak to the aftertaste. Probably worth a try. Pepsico also markets a brand called "No Fear," with variants "No Fear Motherload" and "Sugar Free No Fear." Re. the latter, I would think that if one were truly fearless, one would scoff at the risk of diabetes. But who am I to doubt Pepsico's marketing geniuses.

            9 Replies
            1. re: erikschwarz
              ipsedixit RE: erikschwarz Oct 28, 2010 10:03 PM

              "Mexican Coke. Have not yet tried Pepsi Throwback, which like Mexican Coke is made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup ..."

              _________________________________________________

              You might want to check that assumption.

              From a recent study on HFCS:

              "The study also raises questions about the accuracy of nutrition label reporting by
              manufacturers. When testing the Mexican Coca-Cola that lists “sugar” on the ingredient list, for
              instance, the researchers did not detect any sucrose (traditional sugar) but rather found near equal amounts of fructose and glucose, results which suggest the use of HFCS."

              Source: http://www.foodpolitics.com/wp-conten...

              1. re: ipsedixit
                erikschwarz RE: ipsedixit Oct 29, 2010 06:51 AM

                Interesting. The tests sampled only Mexican Coke obtained in East L.A., so I wonder whether the results would be uniform across samples from all bottlers. I would hazard a guess not. Likely the recent spike in demand for Mexican Coke has led to some production with fructose rather than sucrose.

                If you check the article itself, as opposed to the press release about it from the Childhood Obesity Center, you can make a case for even the East L.A. Mexican Coke. The results of the high-performance liquid chromatography tests show that it has one of the lower deviations from listed sugar content. Pretty much identical to Pepsi, as a matter of fact, though higher than American Coke. The Mexican Coke also had the lowest fructose percentage, save only Gatorade Lemon Lime.

                http://goranlab.com/pdf/Ventura%20Obe...

                Water is still the healthiest beverage, of course...unless it is contaminated. Maybe we had all better stick to Bourbon.

                1. re: erikschwarz
                  ipsedixit RE: erikschwarz Oct 29, 2010 10:40 AM

                  Yeah, I have no idea about the scope of the study. I just found it curious.

                  I've bought Diet Coke and regualr Coke in Mexico City, and couldn't really detect a difference except I am almost sure that Mexican has more caffeine than its American counterpart -- but have nothing to base that on except my own head buzz ...

                  1. re: erikschwarz
                    SnackHappy RE: erikschwarz Oct 29, 2010 10:58 AM

                    "Likely the recent spike in demand for Mexican Coke has led to some production with fructose rather than sucrose."

                    Soda made with cane sugar, or beet sugar for that matter, is almost always made with inverted sugar i.e. sugar where the bond between the glucose and fructose has been broken through some process. So it's not sucrose, it's glucose-fructose and it's chemically the same as HFCS so a spectrometer couldn't see the difference. And neither can the cells in your body.

                    It doesn't mean they're sneaking HFCS. I suspect it's just a labelling problem. It shouldn't say sugar, but liquid invert sugar.

                    1. re: SnackHappy
                      ipsedixit RE: SnackHappy Oct 29, 2010 11:00 AM

                      Interesting re: the glucose-fructose combo for cane sugar.

                      And, totally agree with your statement that "... it's glucose-fructose and it's chemically the same as HFCS so a spectrometer couldn't see the difference. And neither can the cells in your body."

                      1. re: SnackHappy
                        erikschwarz RE: SnackHappy Oct 29, 2010 11:44 AM

                        Wow, if this is true, then the media release from the Childhood Obesity Center is rather misleading. The actual study seems to say positive things about Mexican Coke, such as this: "All of the soft drinks, with the exception of the Mexican Coca-Cola, are 58% fructose or above, and the three most popular soft drinks (Coca‑Cola,
                        Sprite, and Pepsi) contained 64–65% fructose." The medial release on the other hand, seems to go out of its way in the other direction: "When testing the Mexican Coca-Cola that lists “sugar” on the ingredient list, for instance, the researchers did not detect any sucrose (traditional sugar) but rather found near equal amounts of fructose and glucose, results which suggest the use of HFCS." Suggests" is a weasel word: the clear implication is that Mexican Coke is a fraud. This seems to be an example of what happens when science meets advocacy. Not that I have any scientific expertise whatsoever. I would not know a chromatograph from a carburetor.

                        1. re: erikschwarz
                          ipsedixit RE: erikschwarz Oct 29, 2010 12:20 PM

                          "I would not know a chromatograph from a carburetor"
                          ________________________

                          I would know ... I would know that I would not want to eat either one. :-)

                          1. re: erikschwarz
                            paulj RE: erikschwarz Oct 30, 2010 12:04 PM

                            The 'near equal amounts of fructose and glucose' strongly implies the breakdown of sucrose into these 2 simple sugars. While it may have occurred before bottling, I've also read claims that the acidic environment of the bottle can do this as well. It would be interesting to know whether sucrose can be found in any bottled soda, and whether amount depends on the amount of time since bottling.

                            HFCS can be produced in almost any ratio. 'plain' corn syrup is mostly glucose. Fully converted HFCS is 90% fructose. A 55/45 % blend is commonly used in soda because its sweetness mimics a simple sugar syrup. Bakers like a higher glucose version because of the hygroscopic properties of glucose.

                    2. re: erikschwarz
                      Cherylptw RE: erikschwarz Oct 29, 2010 11:59 AM

                      One store in my area had cans of Pepsi Throwback for .25 cents each a few weeks ago, my son loaded up on them. Now, that brought back memories...so delicious! My dad worked for Pepsi when I was a kid so we're loyal to Pepsi over Coke in this camp. Nowadays, I have to have a taste for any brown soda but it's always Pepsi if I get a hankering.

                      Gingerale is my favorite soda, Schweppes, if you please, however, I drink and buy club soda &/or seltzer water by the case. No calories and it can be flavored with citus, berries, juices, extracts, etc.

                    3. ipsedixit RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 10:00 PM

                      Me personally:

                      Diet Coke > Diet Pepsi
                      Diet 7-Up > Diet Sprite
                      Diet Barqs > Diet A&W
                      Diet Mountain Dew > Diet Squirt

                      If you want something other than a diet soda at a restaurant, try either a club soda with a twist of lime or lemon or sparkling water.

                      1. TheHuntress RE: Jasz Oct 28, 2010 11:45 PM

                        Definitely Diet Coke over Pepsi. I also think that Coke Zero tastes a lot like Pepsi, so I also prefer Diet Coke over Coke Zero. I don't like full sugar soft drinks (tastes like syrup after all the years of drinking Diet Coke), but if I can't get it I'll go for a lemon, lime and bitters.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: TheHuntress
                          hill food RE: TheHuntress Oct 29, 2010 12:01 AM

                          you can't find unsweetened iced tea up there? I always thought sweet tea was a Southern US thing, one that I rarely find (thankfully btw) in the Northern states. I've never understood the pre-sweetened stuff, it's so easy to swirl in a pack or 2 of your favorite stuff. bit harder to get it out.

                          1. re: hill food
                            Jasz RE: hill food Oct 29, 2010 12:07 AM

                            The iced teas generally served at restaurants here are of the Nestea/Lipton variety. I would kill for some of the tea I had while visiting my cousin in Texas.

                            1. re: hill food
                              TheHuntress RE: hill food Oct 29, 2010 02:33 AM

                              I'm in Australia, so iced tea isn't the most common thing around. For some reason I don't like tea either (odd, I know), so I am hopelessly addicted to Diet Coke. I just tell myself there are worse addictions out there, like crack.

                          2. k
                            Krislady RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 02:45 AM

                            I usually order just a glass of water, or, occasionally, club soda, as was suggested above.

                            While I do occasionally find places offering unsweetened iced tea, I find that if it's not the middle of summer, when there's a high turnover, the brewed tea is usually, I don't know, stale? It has an old flavor that I can't stand, so I just usually drink water out.

                            1. c
                              cheesecake17 RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 10:57 AM

                              I usually drink water or seltzer. Sometimes I'll order a Diet Sprite- the answer is usually "we don't have that, but we have Diet Coke/Pepsi." I don't mind being given the choice but what irritates me is when they don't have Diet Sprite and the waiter answers "ok I'll bring you a Diet Coke instead."

                              1. l
                                lemons RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 11:51 AM

                                Coke, yes, Pepsi, never. As to diet stuff, though, My options are first, Coke Zero, and then Diet Pepsi. Logic? What's that.

                                1. e
                                  ediblover RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 11:59 AM

                                  My first choice is Dr. Pepper. Between similar drinks like Coke and Pepsi, I prefer Coke, but really wouldn't care much if I got a Pepsi instead.

                                  1. n
                                    nsstampqueen RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 12:07 PM

                                    Pepsi - yes Coke - no
                                    Not much for 7-up or Sprite, or any other flavour.
                                    If i have to have diet pop, which I am supposed to now, I drink Diet A&W Root Beer, has the best taste to me of all diet pop.

                                    I find now I just say forget it and have water. Treat myself to maybe 1 real Pepsi a week kind of thing.

                                    1. erikschwarz RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 12:35 PM

                                      Has anyone here tasted Dr. Nut - made famous by Confederacy of Dunces? I drank a bottle of the 80's revival vintage but never the original. Perhaps a bit off-topic, but not wildly so.

                                      1. c
                                        cath RE: Jasz Oct 29, 2010 01:54 PM

                                        I'm a Diet Coke drinker. If I get the "Is Pepsi OK?" line it depends on my mood -- sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. If it isn't, I usually just go with water, or sometimes sparkling water or lemonade. If there's diet root beer available I also like that, but it's rare.

                                        1. mamachef RE: Jasz Oct 30, 2010 02:33 PM

                                          Tonic with fresh lemon and a touch of sugar is a personal favorite of mine. I also enjoy any good fruit syrup (apricot, berries of any kind, etc.) mixed with seltzer or Calistoga, on the rocks.
                                          And to answer the OP, Pepsi's my drug of choice. Not DP. Not P1. Pepsi, sugar-loaded, bubbly deliciousness in a bottle. Or can. Or plastic bottle. Nothing else will do. Thank goodness for good teeth.

                                          1. f
                                            FrankD RE: Jasz Oct 30, 2010 10:22 PM

                                            Actually, the question never comes up for me, as my conversations go like this:

                                            "Something to drink?"

                                            "Do you serve Coke or Pepsi?"

                                            If Coke, no problem, but if the reply is "We serve Pepsi" then the next words out of my mouth are either "club soda with lemon/lime (depending on mood)" or "coffee".

                                            (Although I do wish more places served diet Dr. Pepper, or diet Mug.)

                                            1. o
                                              occula RE: Jasz Nov 2, 2010 10:36 AM

                                              I have a very strong preference for Pepsi. I will drink Coke when they offer, which is often since many places seem to carry it instead. But I always want Pepsi and always order it by preference.

                                              When I'm drinking cola, of course.

                                              I never drink diet sodas. I'd rather have water or, well, almost anything.

                                              1. d
                                                DishDelish RE: Jasz Nov 2, 2010 12:52 PM

                                                Taste wise I think Pepsi is better ... a personal thing, but for several years now every time I drink any soda I get a horrible tummy ache. Probably a good thing! :) For some odd reason I can handle an occasional Italian ice/soda though. Maybe something about the half/half being added? Anyways, my suggestion is that if you're going to splurge, don't do diet. In the long run you are doing worse things for your body then having real sugar.

                                                1. susans RE: Jasz Nov 4, 2010 12:08 AM

                                                  Diet Coke, but only from cans or bottles. The fountain variety must be made with a different sweetener and tastes bitter. It is somewhat drinkable mixed 50/50 with regular Coke. My second choice would be a good quality diet ginger-ale or root beer.

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