1984 was a banner year for pop culture, with the debuts of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Prince’s Purple Rain, the original Footloose film…and a very special soda that, although long-since defunct, remains near and dear to the hearts of many (including myself): Slice soda. PepsiCo’s brainchild, Slice originally came in lemon-lime, putting it in direct competition with Sprite and 7-Up—which it handily beat if you asked me or any of my teenage friends back then.
Why ’80s Kids are Obsessed With Slice
It wasn’t because Slice contained 10% real fruit juice (although it was the only soda that did). It simply tasted better to us. Perhaps it was because it was slightly sweeter/less crisp than Sprite and 7-Up. Or perhaps it was because the real fruit juice added an irresistible complexity to the flavor profile—I always swore I could taste a hint of pear, making Slice my go-to for wine spritzers when I got older.
Although Slice was well-received and even beloved by its fans, by 2005, it was gone from grocer shelves. Retail analysts attribute Slice soda’s demise, in part, to its diversification into 15 fruit flavors (starting with orange, which was the favorite of many a Slice-o-phile), paving the way for other more recognizably-branded juice-infused drinks to steal its thunder (such as Minute Maid and Sunkist).
The Big Relaunch
But Slice-lovers, it’s time to rejoice—for Slice is making a comeback as a 100% fruit-juice-sweetened soft drink, thanks to Mark Thomann, a Chicago entrepreneur, who possesses what the Chicago Tribune describes as a “knack for reclaiming old brands.” This time, Slice will be getting a bit of a makeover: it will be sweetened exclusively with fruit juice and overall lower in sugar and calories than other soft drinks. The entrepreneur hopes to position the beverage as something between soda and sparkling water (perfect for folks who can’t quite get into LaCroix).
And when this beloved soft drink makes its return, (reportedly sometime this year), you too shall be able to savor its fruit-juicy deliciousness straight-up or use it in cocktail recipes such as this one for wine spritzers and this one for white sangria. Cheers!