Pepsi Perfect from 'Back to the Future' arrives early (taste test)

I drank a Pepsi Perfect from the future and became Marty McFly for a few glorious minutes.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Pepsi Perfect
Enlarge Image
Pepsi Perfect
Pepsi Perfect with a hoverboard replica. Amanda Kooser/CNET

October 21 is the day when most "Back to the Future" fans will get a crack at buying a bottle of futuristic Pepsi Perfect, Marty McFly's soda of choice from "Part II." Previously constrained to the realm of fiction, Pepsi Perfect is now an actual beverage, albeit a limited-edition one.

A package from the future arrived on my doorstep Thursday, an overnight delivery from New York City. It looked like a black shoebox, but tucked inside I found the unmistakable curvy Pepsi Perfect bottle complete with 1989's idea of what a future-Pepsi logo would look like.

In case you're not suffering from "Back to the Future" fever, October 21, 2015, is the day McFly appears in the future during the 1989 sequel. He arrives on the wings of a time-traveling DeLorean and faces all sorts of wonders and oddities like hoverboards, an '80s-themed cafe and a serving of Pepsi Perfect that comes in what looks like a weizen-glass-inspired bottle.

'Back to the Future' gear for right now (pictures)

See all photos

The Pepsi Perfect bottle is plastic and just over 9 inches (23 centimeters) tall from the bottom to the top of the blue plastic twist-off cap. It contains 16.9 ounces (500 milliliters) of dark, caramel-colored liquid. It's pleasing to hold. The curves fit nicely in your hand.

Watch this: The tech 'Back to the Future' predicted for 2015 -- and what it missed

If you are expecting Pepsi Perfect to taste like the future, you might be slightly disappointed. In a nice move, there is no high-fructose corn syrup to be found in the ingredient list. It simply reads carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric aced, caffeine and natural flavor. These match the lineup for a regular real-sugar Pepsi.

Despite my inclination to preserve the prop undisturbed, I open the lid to a satisfying hiss of air. The blue top spins off easily. The liquid inside bubbles. Yep. Tastes like Pepsi. But there's something else going on here. I can pretend I just strolled into Cafe 80s wearing a shimmering hat while Michael Jackson sings "Beat It" and ordered a Pepsi from a Max Headroom version of Ronald Reagan.

Some fans at New York Comic Con picked up early-bird bottles by dressing like Marty McFly. Almost everybody else has to wait for October 21 to get a live online purchase link from Pepsi.com. There will 6,500 of the collectible bottles available for $20.15 (about £13, AU$28) each.

This is just the latest chapter in a set of real-life "Back to the Future: Part II" experiences for me. I wore the glowing shoes for a week. I carried around a screaming-pink hoverboard. Now I'm drinking Pepsi Perfect. This is as close as I'll ever get to being Marty McFly, and the future tastes ever so sweet.