Nothing beats a Mexican Coke, especially with lunch from a neighborhood taquería. For a century all Coca-Cola was sweetened with sugar from cane or beets. Then in the 1980s, American bottlers switched to high-fructose corn syrup, but those in Mexico didn’t. Thanks to entrepreneurs who sneak Mexican Coke into the United States to avoid paying duties, you can buy it at a number of markets. Five years ago, the Coca-Cola Company started making cane Coke that it named “Mexican Coke,” but connoisseurs say it’s not as good. Both Mexican Cokes come in glass bottles. You can tell the original because its bottles are marked “retornable” and have been scratched by reuse. Coca-Cola calls it “unauthorized product.” I call it delicious.
Photograph courtesy unitedvendgroup.com