Review: Pepsi 1893 Original Cola/Ginger Cola (New)

As if the craft beer craze isn’t enough, look what we have here.

Craft soda.


Craft sodas have been around for a long time, but they are usually found at specialty shops. Now, Pepsi is bringing craft sodas to the mainstream. Oh my!

Yes, Pepsi has introduced its 1893 line of craft sodas. Original Cola and Ginger Cola are both available.

You know by now how we feel about pretentious stuff. We don’t like it. That’s why we are called FEWD Snobs. The word “snobs” is ironic, get it?? Sure you do!

That said, it is our job to review stuff for you. We’re trying to help you here, people! So, we are going to take a look at each soda. Aren’t we kind?

First of all, we aren’t sure exactly what Pepsi is going for here. Who is the target audience? It isn’t the retro crowd. As you know, retro sodas have been out for quite some time. Although originally intended to be limited time deals, they have been around for years. The retro cans and logos are used, and the soda is made with real sugar. We don’t think that is the crowd Pepsi is aiming for. Sure, the look of the can is old-fashioned with the old Pepsi logo. And the name is a nod to Pepsi being founded in 1893. But with the pretentiousness of it (we’ll get to that later), the look, and the shape of the cans, we figure this is for a different crowd.


Who else would this be marketed to? Millennials are the schmucks buying up all the craft beers, and walking around like they are soooo kewl. You can bet that is the target audience here.

Ugh. Enough already.

Still, as our duty to you, here we go…

Original Cola:

IMG_20160412_123008045_HDRGet a load of that. It is boldly blended with Kola nut extract. And a touch of aromatic bitters. Good lord. We are shocked that real sugar is being used. Oh, that’s right, millennials like pure shit. No artificial sweeteners here!

Once we got done puking from the pretentiousness of it all, we poured it into a glass.

IMG_20160412_123050435_HDROh look! Cola!

The initial flavor of the Original Cola is pretty standard. We don’t taste Kola nuts. What the hell is a Kola nut, anyway? The initial flavor then fades in to a rather sharp flavor. It is certainly stronger and less sweet than regular Pepsi. There is also an aftertaste that lasts. It is a strong aftertaste that lingers. Frankly, we don’t like it. It is too harsh.

Overall, we don’t get this at all. If it isn’t bad enough that it is made just to be cool, it doesn’t even taste good. Failing.

Ginger Cola:

IMG_20160412_122953364Why let the Original Cola get all the pretentiousness? There is plenty to go around!

IMG_20160412_123224834The color is just a little bit lighter than the regular version. Fascinating.

The ginger taste hits right away. Then, you taste the cola. It is a strong ginger flavor, but not so strong that it is unpleasant. It has a fresh ginger flavor. It isn’t sweet like commercial ginger ales. It is more like a craft ginger ale. The aftertaste isn’t as overbearing as the Original Cola is. There is definitely a ginger flavor that lingers, but it isn’t necessarily a bad flavor.

And there you have it.

Overall, we like the Ginger Cola much better than the Original Cola.

For our purposes, we can really only see this stuff being used for one thing. Mixed drinks. We can see putting whiskey or rum in it, and having a pretty decent drink. This is about the only purpose we would have for it. After further investigation, we found a video on Pepsi’s Facebook page that shows a guy putting it in a mixed drink. Nifty. Maybe Pepsi knows the only way to drink it is with booze!

We had a hard time finding the 1893 colas in our area. Conveniences stores and Wal-Mart don’t seem to be carrying it here. We found it at Dillon’s (our local grocery store). In our store, the cans are sold individually for $1.69 each. Keep in mind, the cans are 12 ounces. So, it is more expensive than regular soda. Not by much, though. We think the value is ok, we suppose.

Overall, we like the Ginger Cola better by far. But, we wouldn’t bother to buy this stuff again. The only thing we can see using it for is mixing with booze. Meh.

You can have it, millennials.




  1. Nico

    But guys….the sugar they use….it’s FAIR TRADE!

    I mean…that in and of itself sells this product to our MEgeneration!

    They can feel good about themselves consuming fair trade sugar and being trendy!

    Thanks for saving me a buck and change, gentlemen!

    1. Fewd Snobs (Post author)

      Good point, Nico. We meant to write something about the fair trade sugar, but didn’t get it in there. What a joke! Glad we could save you some cash!

  2. Mel

    Tried the 1893 Original. I am a Gen X’er and was pleased that it reminded me of what Colas used to taste like. We not only drank them straight but also in ice cream sodas where the heaviness was appreciated. So, to me it’s not new but going back to what works. The thick, fountain soda colas they should never have messed with in the first place. Shame they have to promote it as new to charge extra. Kinda like going back to the regular candy bar size and calling it “mega” or “jumbo”.

    1. Ms. Barnett

      I am also Gen X, earlier years. I have had all kinds of colas, and the only thing this cola reminded me of was Red Bull Cola, which is no longer available in the U.S. I loved that cola and I love Pepsi 1893 Original Cola. I believe it is a new product. I would have remembered something tasting that good. I just hope it doesn’t disappear, like Red Bull Cola did years ago. It seems like every time I love a new soda, not many other people do, and so they stop making it. Its too bad these companies can’t just keep making it for the ones who do like them. Coke Blak is another one I used to like that disappeared.

  3. Lena Bodge

    I like the ginger cola ..and will buy it again, but it’s hard to find in my area. And by the way I am not a Pepsi person never have been, just took a chance on a can because it said Ginger cola and I am a fan of Ginger.

  4. Original Sierra Mist Lover

    I guess I could say to each his or her own. IMHO, I like this much better than the nasty corn syrup polluted pepsi that was not in any way related to the original blend. Pepsi was caught in the shit storm of overpriced sugar and made much less profit during the years that sugar had become taxed massively. Sugar is still taxed, but there has been ways around that and I’m not going to bring that up because the major manufacturers know exactly what I am talking about. The fair trade market of sugar has been pretty muched forced into the market to assist the economy, not the other way around.

    We the consumer will buy what we wish, and I am one that will buy a stronger, less sugary/fattening product. The first week I was drinking this stuff, I lost enough weight to have all of my shorts very loose fitting, as much as 2 sizes smaller in the waist.. Does that tell you all something? HFCS is the killer in this Fatso epidemic, not just sugar alone.

    Also, both of these sodas taste way better to me and not only have a fresher, crisper taste, they also settle my stomach when upset by meds and my inherited stomach issue. So maybe you just see this as a scam by Pepsi to sell the same product in a more profitble way, however I have found it to be sold in certain stores at 10 for $10. I buy out every can for this price and it isn’t just to look or think I am cool doing so. I’d rather have the cash in my pocket if I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do.. I just needed something to replace drinking Sierra Mist that has real sugar , less of it and was all natural without having hfcs or additives/preservitives in it since Sierra Mist has turned to shit/mist twst, I basically would have eliminated Pepsi all together, but I am waiting for Sprite’s new version to be released in the us that has less sugar and stevia to replace my favorite drink, Sierra Mist that actually enhanced the effect of my meds taken. That is the overall reason why I drink carbonated sodas with sugar in them instead of hfcs. HFCS eliminates the med’s ability to work.. I don’t know why but it is absolutely true.

    1. Ms. Barnett

      I agree. I don’t drink it for any kind of “coolness”. I drink it because it tastes incredible. Very unique. Where I live, no one seems to know much about this soda. They see me with it and think it is an energy drink or a fancy alcoholic drink in a can. I don’t think these were advertised well enough. Fine by me; more cans available for me to buy, as long as they last.

  5. HER

    Are these going to be limited release? We like the ginger Pepsi and have bought all the store had when we saw it but now it seems to have disappeared. I see citrus and black currant on the shelf recently. Citrus is too sweet – bring back the ginger one!!

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