Given the nature of the opening car ride on tonight’s Mad Men, I’m relieved that the
sad news later in the episode wasn’t more tragic in its scope. I post today not to discuss plot, however; AMC’s main attraction might be done talking about Patio, the diet soft drink introduced by Pepsi-Cola in 1963, after tonight, which means that my window to relevantly blog about it is closing.
I wasn’t familiar with Patio, but like most of the products featured on the series it’s real — albeit, of course, not handled by the fictional Sterling Cooper agency. While the cola variety of Patio was rebranded Diet Pepsi in 1964, per its Wikipedia entry, other flavors of sugar-free soda continued under the name through 1976. You can browse them in great detail on the Patio section within Pepsi’s index at the USA Soda website.
Pepsi-Cola’s other products beyond such better-known labels as Mug, Sierra Mist, Mountain Dew, and even Patio include several curiosities; I’d sure as hell never heard of Devil Shake. What interested me the most, though, was the page on flavored Pepsi and its images of a version of diet Pepsi with lemon called Pepsi Light that I fondly remember my parents and their friends drinking. Should Mad Men somehow make it to 1975 perhaps we’ll see a twenty-ish Sally Draper home from Radcliffe sharing one with her dear old mother during frosty conversations about the past.
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