No, this isn’t a post extolling the virtues of some good nose candy from south of the border.
Some American products are hurt by moving production to Mexico. John Deere and certain Fender Stratocasters immediately come to memory. But when it comes to the world’s most recognized brand and the one product that practically symbolizes America, there is no denying it in my mind – Mexico does Coca Cola better.
Let me say, first off, that I am not a soda or caffeine drinker. Aside from a once-a-year root beer or a thirsty sip when Vess had a soda, I haven’t had either in close to 15 years. Regardless, I could not ignore the praises I heard about how great a Mexican Coke was. What was the big deal? Supposedly, using sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup was the secret to the better taste. Could that really make that much of a difference? I mean, come on. It was a fucking Coke! I was curious so I picked a few up for us to try.
All of the Mexican Cokes I have come across have been in a bottle. That’s ok since everyone knows that a Coke tastes better that way. I don’t know why. It just does. If you disagree with me you are wrong. I read the ingredients and noticed that the list seemed to be a little shorter. There was, indeed, sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. I also noticed that there was a continuity problem. The fonts on the scratched ink were slightly different from bottle to bottle. Considering they came from a street vendor, I paid it no mind. It was time to crack them open.
It tastes like a Coke, but you can tell it’s been tweaked. That biting sting that sometimes hits your nose is gone. The syrupy film that settles in the back of your throat after you’ve polished one off is, thankfully, completely absent. The overly intense sweetness you come to expect is missing and everything is mellower. I’ve come to notice this with Mexican foods. Everything from chocolate bars to sweet pastries have less sugar in them and it allows the other flavors to really come through. Unknowingly, I had stumbled across the best possible beverage to go along with greasy pub food after a night of drinking. Yes it tastes like a Coke, but it tastes like the best Coke you’ve ever had.
No, it hasn’t turned me back into a soda hound – but it gave a good run for the money. If I had to pick a carbonated drink, it would definitely be this one. On a hot day, it would definitely get the job done for a parched mouth… and if you had a big plate loaded up with spicy tacos and tongue-numbingly hot salsa with chips and beans, even better.