Coca-Cola … The Real Thing



Dylan rode with me Saturday to take some trash to the dump, and after we were through, we stopped at a convenience store for a “special drink.”

That’s what Dylan calls it when he and I are out together and we stop somewhere and each get a Coke or a Sprite in the small glass bottle. What was the norm in my childhood is a novelty now.

(Side Note: For what it’s worth, Dylan is hooked on the glass bottles … he’s since kept the bottle and is drinking everything from milk to orange Kool-Aid out of it. I have a strange child.)

I had intentions this day of getting a NEHI grape soda, but Dylan said, “Daddy, there’s big Cokes up at the top for you.”

Sure enough, at the top of the cooler were the bigger 12 oz. Cokes. I almost dismissed them, my mind set on the NEHI, until I noticed something strange. On the bottle of the tall Cokes was the word “Refresca.” Huh?

So I pulled one down and noticed that aside from “Coke” and “Coca-Cola,” all the words on the bottle were in Spanish.

Why would they have Mexican Cokes, I thought? The bottles each had a small white sticker with the nutritional information and the ingredients printed in English (all this was omitted form the bottles of the Mexican Cokes).

It didn’t take much reading to see the difference and to decide I didn’t want a NEHI.

Ingredients: Carbonated water, SUGAR, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, caffeine


No corn syrup.

Real sugar.

Amazing. And sad. And disappointing.

I find it ironic that while the rest of the world gets “The Real Thing” in every sense of the phrase, American consumers get corn syrup because it’s cheaper than sugar.

Forget our jobs, they’re sending all our Cokes to Mexico.

UPDATE: I have since found several articles online about Costco selling Mexican Cokes out west for the past four years or so. And there was a Wall Street Journal front page story from a couple years ago about the high demand for Mexican Cokes.

3 Responses to “Coca-Cola … The Real Thing”

  1. I’m so glad this is what you meant when you said, “I blogged about Mexican Coke”. It could have gone in a really bad direction and had the DEA knocking in our door. Phew.

  2. I found some at WalMart several months ago and took several home. My son Jack loves them. I remember the sweet tang but I notice that Mexican Coke, like European Coke, has less carbonation. Too bad, but if you chug it, you’ll still get that old familiar burn in your throat. BTW they are available at Fresh Market on the Eastside. If you know anywhere else, I can find them please let me know. I cannot find them at the Spartanburg Costco.

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