Mexican Coca-Cola

Mexican Coca-Cola

Somehow, I think I have to thank Bill Clinton and NAFTA for this….
For years now, I have heard of a mystical beverage. An elixir that calls to me. A product of a foreign, exotic land of myth and legend. This ambrosia roils with sparkling effervescence when first you break its seal, and it bestows upon the drinker a swift burst of refreshment, energy, and mental acuity.
What’s it called? Mexican Coca-Cola.

Um. We have Coke here in the US, dude.

Tell me about it. I’m from Georgia. We call it champagne down there. But this is different.

Come on! Coke is Coke.

No, no it is not. In Mexico, the Coca-Cola corporation still makes their product with this stuff called sugar, cane sugar to be precise, not High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Come on old timer, pull the other one. There’s no difference in taste. They have science and stuff to prove it.

Science can kiss my pimply behind. There is one reason Americans are stuck with Coke, and most everything else, made with Karo syrup instead of sugar: Taxes. Pure bulk sugar costs 50% more in the United States than everywhere else in the world, because that’s the way the government wants it to be, and no other reason.
Without these protectionist taxes, Coke would be cheaper, and taste better too.

I’m all for cheaper, but how can you say it tastes better?

For the longest time, I was relying on hearsay, as Mexican Coke was the aforementioned urban legend. But no longer. Maggi came triumphantly home with a case of real Mexican Coca-Cola from COSTCO last week. I hear it also can sometimes be found at Wal-Mart.
Best of all, it comes in this kind of bottle!

Whoa! Cool looking bottles!

Aren’t they?

Totally awesome design!

Um, fer shure?

How come they are using these funky new bottles in Mexico, Dude? I thought we got all the cutting edge stuff here first!

No. See kid, this is the way Coke bottles are supposed to….
The point is, it took me just long enough to chill a few bottles before I did the taste test. Cane sugar Coke is better. It’s not change your world better, not overthrow the government to get a better import tax code better, but it is worth a few more cents a bottle better. Try it out.
Oh, and since I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a cocktail with a post like this, I’ll simply throw out the simplest, most profound cocktail use for Coca-Cola:


  • 2 oz. Light Rum
  • 1 fresh lime half
  • Mexican Coca-Cola

Fill a highball glass with large ice and the rum. Squeeze the lime half into the glass and drop the spent hull in as well. Top with Coke and stir.

The light rum you use matters fairly little. Fresh lime is better than bottled, but more important is using enough. Squeezing just a wedge into your drink will give you a Rum and Coke, not a Cuba Libre. The Cuba Libre is much better.
Oh, and the Mexican Coke tastes not a whit different in this drink from American Coke. If your budget is super tight, save the good stuff for drinking straight. Oh, and Pepsi can pucker up right along with Science (see above).

UPDATE: Someone from Vinapedia adds, down in the comments, that cane sugar Coke is available in the US through regular outlets during Passover. I look forward to checking out how to identify it.


  1. Jac

    27 August

    “not overthrow the government to get a better import tax code better”

    I beg to differ! Really, there should’ve been a revolution when they started regulating the coca content, but this sugar deal certainly goes too far!

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  2. Joke

    28 August

    As an FYI, during Passover you can get U.S.A.-made sugar sweetened Coke. Depending on the market, you’ll find it in 8oz glass bottles, 12oz cans or 2L plastic bottles. I suggest you hoard and stash in the fridge until next Passover.

    These are all distinguished by the different caps/pulltab colors.

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  3. Doug

    29 August

    Thanks for the intelligence! I’d noticed the different tab colors, but never knew what they meant!

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  4. kimmie

    29 August

    any little taqueria, or mom and pop sort of mexican restaurants will have coke with real sugar. i heard about this years and years ago and immediately went to the nearest taqueria and checked to see that they had real coke in bottles, which they did… and every other hole in the wall mexican restaurant since then (those are the best you know!). believe me, you don’t have to wait until passover to purchase it and i wouldn’t suggest picking it up and hoarding it for more than a few months. like all foods, soda does expire and go bad! i know. i’ve opened one and tasted. NOT good.

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  5. I get it by the bottle at the feed mill in town (no kidding). I hear that Sam’s also has it? And you’re right — it DOES matter, it DOES taste better and it IS worth it.

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  6. katie

    29 August

    lucky me, I live in Texas… it’s available by single glass bottles at Walmart. Have not tried it yet, but now I think I will.

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  7. Chris

    29 August

    Coke and Pepsi both produce sugar-based sodas during Passover, too, due to some kosher rules about corn. Just look for the yellow lids (and check the ingredients to be sure).

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  8. MelodyJ

    29 August

    You can find Mexican Coke at Fresh Market if you have one in your area. Some people on a message board said that you can get Latin American Coke at one the stores where you buy in bulk. I can remember which one. I remember to check Wal-Mart and look at the different tabs.

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  9. weyn13

    30 August

    We have the same Coke bottles here in the Philippines you can buy for one-tenth of a dollar 🙂 I haven’t checked out the ingredients though if they’re made of cane sugar. But this is an interesting thing to know!

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  10. Tony

    30 August

    Yah here in Raleigh, NC you can find Mexican coke at a lot of the Food Lion grocery stores as well as Krogers in the Latin food section. I agree the cane sugar Coke is way better than fructose Coke. Also, I think there is something to be said about the glass bottle. Even corn syrup filled coke tastes better if it is served in a glass bottle.

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  11. Orr

    31 August

    Warning: Some Mexican Coke is made with high-fructose corn syrup, same as the American stuff. Here in DC, I got excited when I spotted some glass bottles of made-in-Mexico Coke (with the same white printer sticker) in a local Latin American market, but the ingredients listed HFCS and not sugar. Just make sure you check before you buy.

    If you can’t find said Coke, my go-to is Whole Foods’ generic brand of cola (in a brown can). It’s sweetened with sugar cane, uncaffeinated, light in mouthfeel, and cheaper than many other brands.

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  12. Tiare

    4 September

    I love cane sugar coke!

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  13. Ana

    30 April

    I live in Mexico and coke in glass bottles is like reaaally cheap here, I don´t know how much a bottle of mexican coke costs in the US but here it is chaper than a quarter, we also have just regular coke, you know, in plastic bottles but my family and I have always liked the glass kind better 🙂

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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