When asked by friends to recommend a "good soda" to try with quality flavor, I'll often share an endorsement for a Mexican Coke or Mexican Pepsi. Others know what to expect with flavor, thus they are rather surprised just how superior these real sugar versions of their familiar drinks taste. Thus, after seeing these imported Mexican colas get all the limelight in the U.S., it makes sense that Jarritos finally got in on the action with Jarritos Mexican Cola.
Given the success that Jarritos has in the U.S., adding a cola flavor in 2011 was a smart move to round out their flavor-intensive lineup. I first got to taste it while attending last year's National Restaurant Association show.
Unlike the other flavors in Jarritos' lineup, the Mexican Cola flavor features stylized gold trim in the design. We sampled the 370 ml (12.5 oz) glass bottle version, which like other flavors, features the textured word "Jarritos" at the bottom of the neck, with a pattern continuing up. The label is a clear sticker affixed to the front and back of the bottle, adorned with attractive callouts such as "Made in Mexico" and "100% Natural Flavor."
The drink itself is dark brown, like other colas. Removing the bottle cap, you are greeted with a rather sweet scent for a cola, more Pepsi than Coke, but with a hint of nuttiness. As for the taste, well, it's a cola. Not a substantially unique one, at that. The flavor profile is more along the lines of bland, something like an RC Cola. I really wanted to love the Mexican Cola more, but there's a certain emptiness there. Perhaps of the flavor profile was more natural in nature, along the lines of the now-discontinued Red Bull Simply Cola or Pepsi Natural, it would be more redeeming.
Nevertheless, it's not a bad cola. Given that it most likely exists so that Jarritos gets a cola sale at a food outlet vs. losing out to an imported Mexican Pepsi/Coke option, it serves its purpose well.
Jarritos Mexican Cola
Carbonated water (water, carbon dioxide), natural sugar, artificial and natural flavors, caramel color, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate, caffeine
A 12.5 oz bottle contains 172 calories, 39 mg sodium, and 45 g carbs (45 g sugars). Caffeine free.
Official Website: Jarritos.com