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What if you took 7up and added caffeine, a fruit flavor, and a bright green color? Well, you'd wind up with the newest member of the soda family, dnL. dnL (read it upside-down) is designed to be the opposite of 7up: caffeinated, colored, and fruity.

Unveiled at a press conference in September 2002, dnL is another of the many novelty sodas that hit the market in 2002, joining Vanilla Coke and Pepsi Blue. dnL is expected to hit the market in November.

dnL is a beverage produced by the Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up Company. Its name is derived from writing "7up" upside-down. The only other aspect it shares with its predecessor is the red spot which is positioned between the 'n' and the 'L' (as opposed to the '7' and the 'u').

dnL is available in a small handful of cities, according to its web site (http://www.dnl-flipit.com). Fortunately, even though Pittsburgh is not listed on the web, I was able to procure a 20-ounce (600 mL) bottle from a convenience store on the Carnegie Mellon University campus. It is being test marketed in various other cities, including (as of November 2002) Los Angeles, Cleveland, Chicago, and Dallas. By January 2003, it should be available nationwide.

The bottle is clear and the soda is green, the opposite of 7-up's packaging. The label is mostly green, but also includes yellow accents to constrast with the green soda. The flavor is described as a fruit flavor blast and tastes sort of like Mountain Dew but sweeter. The product is caffeinated (unlike 7up) but I'm not sure about the level of caffeine. The marketing seems to be geared towards young hip-hop and techno fans, not the extreme sports players or gangstas associated with products like Mountain Dew or Surge's marketing. According to the dnL FAQ provided by the company, the caffeine adds flavor.

Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up is late to the party when it comes to new flavor drinks. Coke has Vanilla Coke, Pepsi has Pepsi Blue, and now this. Dr. Pepper introduced Red Fusion, and 7up still has Cherry 7up, but I'm not sure if dnL will succeed on the basis of it being 7up upside-down. For all we know, this could be the next Citra or OK Soda.

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