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  • - Oh god!

  • Will this succeed?

  • Whoa.

  • I think I might be on my way

  • to making Crystal Pepsi tonight.

  • Ah, Crystal Pepsi, the blast from the past

  • that just won't leave the public conscience.

  • Or at least it won't leave mine.

  • It was first produced for a few years in the early '90s,

  • which is also when I was first produced.

  • And it's had a few limited runs since,

  • most notably one in 2016.

  • But now, in 2020, in spite of massive public demand,

  • (crickets chirping)

  • Crystal Pepsi is nowhere to be found.

  • Which leaves me with no choice but to make it myself.

  • (dramatic music)

  • So the way I see it, there are two major methods

  • I can go about trying to make Crystal Pepsi.

  • And I'm gonna refer to these as the top down method

  • and the bottom up method.

  • The top down method means taking a bottle of Pepsi

  • and trying to remove the color from it

  • without removing its flavor.

  • And that's what I'm gonna try first.

  • But if that fails,

  • I will have to resort to the bottom up method,

  • which means making cola myself from scratch.

  • I compared the ingredients of Crystal Pepsi

  • and regular Pepsi, and it seems the main difference

  • is that Crystal Pepsi does not contain

  • the caramel coloring that regular Pepsi does.

  • So if we can get that caramel coloring out of Pepsi,

  • we should be left with Crystal Pepsi.

  • But I have no idea how to do any of that,

  • so I'm gonna do some research first.

  • (dynamic music)

  • So I found a couple of people that have

  • tried to take the color out of Pepsi.

  • And it seems like all of them have a relatively similar way.

  • They add something to the Pepsi

  • that separates the caramel from the rest of the cola.

  • What they use is...

  • They use milk, whole milk, and Pepsi.

  • Yum.

  • Let's go shopping.

  • (groovy music)

  • I'm gonna put my lab coat on

  • 'cause it's time to do science.

  • All right, now that I'm a scientist, legally,

  • I don't have a PhD or a doctorate,

  • barely have a bachelor's degree, it's in film,

  • but I have the mindset of a scientist.

  • I've watched a few videos of people doing this

  • and it always looks very gross.

  • So I'm gonna do it.

  • All this involves is pouring whole milk into Pepsi.

  • The whole milk should combine with the caramel in the Pepsi

  • and it should sink to the bottom.

  • Then I should be able to filter out

  • the coagulated milk caramel mixture,

  • and I should be left with a clear-ish, Pepsi-like mixture.

  • I hope.

  • Oh.

  • Whoa.

  • So the milk in here should combine with

  • the caramel in the Pepsi,

  • and they both should sink to the bottom.

  • But that's gonna take a while.

  • I'm gonna leave this here overnight.

  • And I'm gonna try to sleep knowing that

  • this monstrosity is in my living room.

  • Oh my god, it looks like the world's worst lava lamp.

  • (funky music)

  • All right, it is day two.

  • So first things first,

  • we have our milk monster that haunted my dreams last night.

  • This actually worked better than I expected it to.

  • It is transparent at some spots.

  • So what I'm actually gonna do

  • is I'm going to filter this through a coffee filter.

  • It's not translucent,

  • but it's no longer like nearly as brown as it was.

  • I'm actually gonna get another cup

  • and I'm gonna try putting like 10 coffee filters

  • to see if that helps.

  • Kids, pay attention in science class,

  • 'cause someday you could end up doing whatever this is.

  • Oh boy, this is gonna take a while, isn't it?

  • Maybe I'll watch something.

  • Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.

  • Here comes, oh god!

  • Oh, the chunks are coming.

  • Okay, let's add some more to this one.

  • Oh, I don't wanna see that.

  • It's okay, this one was more promising anyway.

  • So even after going through many filters,

  • this still looks disgusting, and it is certainly not clear.

  • But a lot of the color has been taken out of it.

  • The question that remains is, how does it taste?

  • You know what, I'm gonna taste it.

  • This is milk filtered Crystal Pepsi.

  • For science.

  • It just taste's like sugar water,

  • but with a slight hint of Pepsi,

  • and also a slight hint of spoiled milk.

  • But I think I have a better solution.

  • (jazzy music)

  • Thankfully on my shopping trip yesterday,

  • I had the foresight to get the ingredients that I'd need.

  • The main component of a cola

  • is what's called a 7X flavoring.

  • And that's a selection of essential oils.

  • And those include orange oil, lemon oil, cinnamon oil,

  • nutmeg oil, and coriander oil, as well as neroli oil.

  • Unfortunately I was not able to get those exact oils.

  • So what I'm going to be doing instead

  • is I'm gonna be taking the raw components

  • and I'm going to use a mortar and pestle

  • to grind them together.

  • And so I'm gonna start with some orange peel.

  • I'm gonna get about 10 grams of this.

  • Oh, this is gonna take me a minute, isn't it?

  • Four grams of cinnamon.

  • One gram of nutmeg.

  • Add some coriander seeds.

  • I guess that cola is really like a cinnamon citrus drink.

  • So I don't actually need to grind this into a fine powder,

  • but this should be enough.

  • So typically to make an essential oil,

  • you either use something called steam distillation,

  • or you can soak it in an oil for like a month.

  • Obviously I don't have time to do that,

  • but I found a trick online.

  • I'm going to be heating up a bit of this coconut oil,

  • about five tablespoons worth.

  • Then I'm gonna add all of the ingredients

  • that we ground together in the mortar and pestle,

  • as well as about four grams of the neroli oil.

  • Then I'm just gonna let this sit

  • over low heat for about 30 minutes.

  • And eventually we're gonna strain off the oil

  • so that we're left with a cola flavored essential oil.

  • So now what I'm left with is basically

  • a bottle of Pepsi essential oils.

  • But here's where I encounter an issue.

  • This is oil.

  • I have to mix this with carbonated water.

  • Oil and water don't play too well together.

  • What I need is an emulsifier,

  • which will coat the oil particles in a hydrophilic coating,

  • which means that the oil can be

  • dispersed throughout the water.

  • And therefore I can have a mixture of oil and water.

  • So last night I actually ordered gum arabic,

  • which is the emulsifier that's used in Pepsi,

  • for overnight shipping.

  • But when I went downstairs to pick up my package,

  • it looks like someone had stolen it.

  • Someone doesn't want science to happen.

  • And you know what, I'm gonna prove them wrong

  • because you know what else can be

  • used as an emulsifier, alcohol.

  • This won't make the Cola alcoholic

  • because A, we're gonna be cooking this a little more.

  • And B, there's gonna be so little alcohol in this

  • that it isn't even worth mentioning.

  • So I'm gonna take 10 milliliters of this vodka

  • and mix it with three tablespoons of the oil I made.

  • So you can see how, at the bottom of this,

  • the oil and the vodka are not quite mixing.

  • So what I need to do is to take this immersion blender

  • and mix these together.

  • (blender whirring)

  • So I have an emulsion now,

  • and that means I can start making Pepsi.

  • So if I were making normal cola

  • the next step would actually be to caramelize some sugar.

  • But since we don't want that caramel color,

  • we're going to forego that step.

  • And instead, move on to the next step,

  • which is to combine all the rest of the ingredients

  • to make a cola syrup.

  • So to make the flavoring syrup,

  • we're gonna need 600 grams of sugar,

  • three and a half grams of citric acid.

  • And then I just need to add in my flavoring

  • and 500 milliliters of water, which is about 2.1 cups.

  • So that's pretty much it to make the syrup.

  • I just have to heat this over a medium heat

  • for a little while, 'til it's all combined.

  • I'm minutes from my own homemade Crystal Pepsi,

  • I can feel it.

  • (Dakota sighs) Okay.

  • So I apparently didn't do a good enough job

  • emulsifying the essential oil with the alcohol.

  • So I'm gonna need to try doing that again

  • because this time the oil very much

  • just separated from the water.

  • (fancy music)

  • (blender whirring)

  • (Dakota laughing)

  • The trope of the mad scientist makes total sense.

  • Zero.

  • This is starting a bit stronger, it looks like.

  • Will this succeed?

  • Will I go insane trying to make something

  • that I should never have set out

  • to make in the first place?

  • Okay, so something magical has happened.

  • There's a few flecks of oil here and there,

  • but I think that most of it is properly emulsified.

  • I think I might be on my way

  • to making Crystal Pepsi tonight.

  • The last minutes, the moment of truth.

  • Let's make some seltzer.

  • (machine whooshing)

  • Two tablespoons, 12 ounces of my soda water.

  • It's clear, it is clear.

  • I've made some sort of beverage that is clear.

  • But that is not Pepsi.

  • Also the oil is separating again.

  • (somber music)

  • Oh my god.

  • What do I do next?

  • Like, look at this.

  • The oil and the water are clearly still separated.

  • And so I sit amongst the midst of my failure

  • telling you to not fail where I failed,

  • and hoping that you have more success

  • in your endeavors than I did in this.

  • Okay, so it is nearly two in the morning,

  • but I have just had a breakthrough.

  • You see this bottle?

  • This is full of something that tastes almost,

  • but not entirely, unlike Pepsi.

  • And it's clear.

  • And there's just a tiny bit of oil at the top.

  • So defeated, I walked over

  • and I sat on the couch for three hours.

  • But then around one I decided it was

  • probably time to start cleaning things up.

  • But I'd left the flavoring mixture sitting on the stove.

  • I'd just left it to cool.

  • When I saw it though,

  • all of the oil had kind of formed at the top.

  • So I thought to myself, why don't I just scrape this off?

  • And I took a little taste of the flavoring,

  • and it had both the flavors of the sugar,

  • the citric acid, and the water,