As you might already be aware, we're kinda picky about what we offer you, our guests. Having grown up here in Baltimore, I've been a lover of Coca-Cola since as long as I can remember. The sweet cola flavor with the fizzy carbonation and the punishing (when super cold) acidity are just the perfect combination.

But the whole sweeting Coke by HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) was always a problem for me. The HFCS made Coke cloying and left a coating on the palate that just isn't pleasant. So, back in 2006 when we opened our first location in the Towson Public Library we started bringing in what's been known as Mexican Coke.

Mexican Coke is produced by an authorized Coca-Cola bottler, but in Mexico. And in the early days, the only way to get it was to have a Latino connection that was importing Mexican Coke via the grey market. Items that are imported into the United States legally, just not through authorized distribution channels. But back then, it was the only way to source Mexican Coke.

But what is Mexican Coke? Quite simply, it is Coca-Cola as it was in The Old School. As it was in the days before our nation started using HFCS as a sweetener in everything. If you listen to Coca-Cola tell it, HFCS tastes exactly the same as cane sugar sweetened Coke. But it doesn't. And Mexican Coke is made with 100% cane sugar. And it makes a difference.

Coke tastes like Coke again. Out of the bottle, it's a Coke with a crisper flavor. The notes are clear and bright. It's what you want in a Coca-Cola and we still carry it today - though the procurement channels have matured quite a bit.

Then, a few years ago, we decided that it would be nice for us to have a sparkling water on offer. So we went with our favorite: Topo Chico. Again, finding a source for Topo Chico five years ago was a bit challenging, but we were able to do it. It's become a bit easier in 2019 but it's been worth it. That crisp carbonated mineral-y flavor is perfect on a hot day or paired with an espresso.

Topo Chico is produced in Monterrey, Mexico and is just natural mineral water and carbon dioxide. Simple. Perfect.

Both Coca-Cola and Topo Chico from Mexico are available in our cold case.

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