Here in the central part of New Jersey this year, Kosher for Passover Pepsi was abundant while Coke was even more scarce than last year. I am not Jewish so I cannot profess to be an expert on this matter, but this is my understanding: During Passover, Jewish law states that they are not to eat (or drink) grains that have been in contact with water for more than 18 minutes. (Read more here) Since most soft drinks are made with , they’re not allowed.
To avoid a drop in sales during Passover in areas with large Jewish populations (like the New York metro area), bottlers will make limited batches of their beverages with sugar as opposed to high fructose corn syrup. This is the way the beverages were originally formulated. In the 1980’s, corn prices fell (combined with [NPR Story](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup#Use_as_a_replacement_for_sugar>increased sugar tariffs), and this lead to the adoption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for many things.
A lot of people who have been to Mexico or otherwise had Mexican Coke notice it tastes different. That’s because Mexico doesn’t have as much surplus corn and high taxes on sugar, and their Coke bottlers still use the original recipe. Here in the US, Passover is generally the one time of the year where you can purchase quantity of sugar-sweetened Coke at normal prices and not have to pay shipping.
For more about Passover Coke, listen to <a href=) from a few years back.
Back to the point, today I picked up a 12 pack of cans of Pepsi Throwback. Figuring that it would be the same as Passover Pepsi, I picked up a two liter and compared the labels. The Passover Pepsi had Citric Acid listed on the ingredient list, whereas Pepsi Throwback didn’t. Not sure of the who and whys, but, it’s different.
As for the taste? Anyone will tell you that a soda from a can tastes different than a soda from a 2-liter bottle. But, both the Pepsi Throwback and the Kosher for Passover Pepsi lack the mouthcoating sweet that “normal” Pepsi has… and that’s a good thing.