Sure, people love to wax poetic about the Sprite at McDonalds, calling it “hard liquor” or saying “it just hits different.”  But in my heart, there’s only one truly transformative fast food soda: Taco Bell’s Mountain Dew Baja Blast.  As a kid, I’d ask my poor mother to get it at the store, because I was dumb as hell and didn’t understand concepts such as “Taco Bell Exclusive.”  

In a move that would have made little kid me ecstatic (and also did make adult me ecstatic), Baja Blast began being sold on shelves every summer since 2014.  But then, Mountain Dew had a competition, pitting it against Pitch Black, with the winner allegedly becoming a regular offering on shelves year-round.  Alas, my Beloved Blast lost, never to be seen on shelves again… 

Just kidding! Because marketing is nothing but lying, Baja Blast is back once again.  And this time, they’ve brought some friends.

You see, this summer, Pepsico is treating us to 100 Days of Baja (whatever the fuck that means).  In addition to regular Baja Blast (in regular and zero sugar), we’re getting Baja Punch and Baja Flash.  

Baja Punch is, as you can probably imagine from the name, mostly fruit punch flavored.  I do have to admit that fruit punch typically isn’t a flavor that I gravitate towards, mostly because it is, by definition, a very vague flavor.  Like, it’s just any (or every) fruit flavoring they had lying around.  I’m not saying it’s inherently a bad flavor, but if I’m feeling fruity I just tend to lean towards something more specific.  

Anyway, this isn’t just fruit punch, there’s definitely hints of that refreshing Baja Blast limey-ness to it that make it much more interesting that a typical fruit punch.  The fact that it’s carbonated also really helps set it apart from your average punch, which in my opinion tend to have a weird, syrupy consistency in the absence of effervescence.

The slightly-more-confusingly named Baja Flash is, despite the logo depicting only a pineapple, pineapple and coconut flavored.  And upon opening the can, the smell of coconut is very pungent, which is odd since I don’t think I usually pay much attention to soda smells.

The coconut flavor isn’t nearly as overwhelming as the odor would make you think, but it does sort of overpower the pineapple.  And in ways I can’t quite explain (which sucks, because the whole point of this whole thing is to explain things), it somehow still has that Baja Blast crispness without any of the (obvious) lime flavor.  But I guess it’s sorta like whenever I add Malibu to Baja Blast- it just kinda tastes like summer.  (That’s probably also why they didn’t lean into the pina colada thing any harder.)

While this is probably the least favorite of the 3 (just because someone has to be picked last), it does get bonus points for having art of a sea monster wearing heart-shaped sunglasses on the can.

That’s a mood.  

I take it back, Baja Flash isn’t my least favorite, I can’t pick a least favorite.  How could you ask someone to pick their least favorite child?

(@ Pepsi I would like a few dollars please)

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