Saturday, November 26, 2016
Product circa: 2014-2015
In my last post, I declared Crystal Pepsi as one of the most exalted discontinued food products of all time. If there's anything that can creep higher than Crystal Pepsi on this list, it's Surge.
Surge was a soft drink created in 1997 in order to compete with Pepsi's Mountain Dew (Mello Yello just wasn't cutting it). It took on the same tack as Dew, offering a brightly colored appearance, a mixed-citrus recipe, and a ton of caffeine. Surge boasted an ingredients list containing maltodextrin, a substance added for extra energy from drinking the stuff. Coke also marketed Surge using extreme sports, as have similar products.
With its aggressive marketing, energy drink-like benefits (in an era before most energy drinks), and its obnoxious green color, Surge took on a cult following more than mainstream appeal. That fact bore out over the next few years, and Surge was discontinued in 2003.
A dull murmur for its return became a loud cry over the next few years. Once Facebook was created, a group page was soon made to serve as a petition to bring back Surge.
A few years later, Coke created a spiritual successor to Surge called Vault. The stuff was decidedly more like Mountain Dew than Surge, but it was delicious nonetheless. Its run lasted over 5 years before Coke decided to fully get behind Mello Yello as their national "citrus" soda going forward.
In late 2014, Coke finally decided to bring back Surge for a time to sate the nostalgia that never seemed to die down. It's a wonder it took so long. How long will Surge be around this time? I'm not really sure. But the easiest way to get some is off of Amazon.com, and as of this posting, it's still available!
Does it taste just like it used to? By my tongue, yes, and it seems the ingredients list is almost identical to what it used to be. The flavor starts with a bold citrus note, just like all sodas in this category. The mix of flavors is hard to pick out, but it most probably contains lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. Surge distinguishes itself from the rest by concentrating on the flavor of lime, and "fake" lime, to be exact. At the end of the sip you'll find a distinct sourness that really no other citrus soda has, along with a notable bitterness, most likely lent by its considerable caffeine content. Truth be told, whenever Surge is once again no longer available, I might suggest looking toward Mountain Dew Baja Blast for a similar fix.
All in all, it's a delight to have Surge back to surf that wave of nostalgia.