ORIGINAL DRINKS: THE MEXICAN COKE Tuesday, November 08, 2011

After water, beer, tea and coffee, the soft drink, Coca~Cola, most likely rounds out the world’s five most consumed beverages.

But is the company’s advertising responsible for its ubiquity, or is it’s ubiquity directly correlated to its popularity? It should be no surprise that its twisting, swooshing symbol is one of the world’s most recognized, so recognizable that the ribbon itself can wordlessly evokes all that is Coca~Cola.

And as the company grew, its product seemed to sneak into the world’s collective psyche. Both The Kinks and The Beatles referenced it in their music. Salvador Dalí depicted a bottle of it in his painting “Poetry of America.” Warhol painted those bottles, too—lots of ’em. As it became a symbol of corporate hegemony, the company found itself spoofed in the book and the subsequent film adaptation of Dr. Strangelove, as well as The Gods Must Be Crazy, and it was often criticized on-screen by cinematic iconoclast Jean-Luc Godard. And for its coup d’grace, Coca-Cola even gave us our most enduring image of the alternately voyeuristic and generous Santa Claus.

And despite its enduring and dominant success, the soft drink continued to change over time—the recipe, indeed, once contained the leaves from the coca plant, and who could forget about (shudder) New Coke? And it comes in various packages, including cans, and ever-larger plastic bottles. And the sugar, one the soda’s main ingredients, was swapped out long ago for high-fructose corn syrup.


The company still offers consumers a chance to taste what it was like in the old days of the 1960s and 70s. To wit, when Coca-Cola is hecho in Mexico, the soda is made with real cane sugar, giving it the slightly spicier flavor many of us remember us children, and, to evoke our tactile memories, it comes in an iconically designed glass bottle.

The good news? We’ve got ’em. So, the next time you’re in, enjoy a Coke—a Mexican Coke. Pour it over ice. Mix it with whiskey. Mix it with rum. Or simply drink it straight outta the bottle, like Mean Joe Greene, and see if it doesn’t help you remember the fleeted images of long-forgotten summers.