Winter is coming to a close here in St. Petersburg.  I’ve packed away my long shorts for my slightly shorter shorts. I’ll soon be swapping out my old Walmart flip flops for new Walmart flip flops.  The decrepit, migratory old people are beginning to head north to plague their home cities with their absurdly dangerous driving skills, taking with them whatever dolphin-emblazoned tchotchkes and panama jack hats they purchased after a season’s worth of leathering themselves at the beach.  And soon our streets will run douche with the douche of douches as every dude-bro and hoochbag stumble out of their Midwestern dorm rooms, squinting drunkenly into the sun, and doing their best to pretend that they are like the famous New Jersey sub-humans they so desperately want to be.

But my life shan’t really be affected, as I head out to the beach once every two years or so.  Who could be bothered?  Anakin was right.  Sand is the worst.  That’s where all his anger started.

My younger, college-aged, Hawaiian shirt-sporting, puka-shell-necklace-wearing, roofless-doorless-Jeep-Wrangler-driving, Jimmy-Buffet-listening, 8-earring-rocking, blonde-tipped-spiky-hair-having self would be ashamed.  Ashamed I tell you! I had a semester a friend and I dubbed the Semester at Sea because of the frequency of our beach excursions.

I used to walk into class with sand on me!  There wasn’t a time when you wouldn’t find a body board in my backseat! I was a walking bronze billboard for bad college phasery.

But that guy drowned in the gulf somewhere along the way, and now I’m a pale bitter old man.  So don’t even think of tracking any of that damn sand in here.  You hear me?!  I mean it!

So while we’ve got about a month left of the brutal Florida winter (I think we had a low of 46 degrees), I thought I should review the latest winter release from Pepsi Japan.

Pepsi Japan is never short on interesting seasonal releases, though this Pepsi White Orange is a far less unusual proposition than their previous Pepsi Pink and Salty Watermelon.  I bought this through NapaJapan, my go-to Japanese importer (I don’t get anything for saying that), who listed this flavor as “mikan,” and as I speak no Japanese, I’ll take their word for it.  Mikan is a seedless orange found in Japan.  It’s also called the Satsuma.  I’m embarrassed to say that I only became familiar with that word through its frequent referencing on the always great The Mighty Boosh.

As with previous limited editions, the bottle is great.  And that snowman with an orange for a nose is adorable.

The nosegrope is very lightly orange.  A gentle orange wisp, if you will.  It’s a few steps removed from a straight, violently orange-colored orange soda.

The first thing that stands out is that the orange flavor is very light. It’s orange flavor like you’d find in other sodas, but dialed way down.  It’s layered over a fairly recognizable Pepsi base.  As a whole it retains a surprising amount of Pepsi flavors.  I don’t know how they did that while keeping the soda hazily white. I know for a fact that oranges are orange in nature and Pepsi pods are always dark brown when they are perfectly ripe.

Pepsi White Orange also has a pretty heavy mouthfeel.  Its sticky after the fact, which I guess is good, because you want all the extra mouth insulation you can get during the frigid days of winter.  Uvula freezing affects one out of every ten people.  We all need to raise awareness.

It also seems more lightly carbonated than Pepsi proper.

Overall, this is an enjoyable soda.  It’s not wildly outlandish or weird for the sake of being weird.  It could be a day brightener for those in northern climes suffering through grey skies and inches of snow, or it could be just another quirky accessory for those farther south, trying on personalities while making poor life decisions. Just think how good it would look sticking out of a sand-flecked cooler.  That’s a snow globe idea if I’ve ever heard one.

Happy spring everyone!  Please don’t come to Florida!