There are several well-known Mexican brands of soft drink, some of which are widely available in the United States, although one of the most popular of these is Jarritos. Many of the dozen or so flavors available are naturally flavored, rather than relying on artificial ingredients, and the brand is also notable for being more carbonated, or fizzy, than most other brands of soft drinks sold in the US. Because of the strong and authentic flavors, many people choose to drink the soda to complement their meal.
The Jarritos brand dates back over 60 years, when Don Francisco “El Güero” Hill, a chemist, founded the small company in Mexico City in 1950. The first soda produced was coffee flavored, although other more conventional flavors soon followed, and Hill also devised a process to remove tamarind juice extract, to create a then unusual tamarind flavored soft drink.
The brand was later sold to an independent bottling and distribution company, Novamex. In just a decade, the brand was available in most of the country; today the Pepsi bottling group is responsible for distribution of the soda, and the distinctive glass bottles can be found all over Mexico.
Jarritos was first imported into the United States in 1989, and quickly became the most popular soft drink among those from Mexico, Central and South America. Today, it is widely available throughout the US and can be found in supermarkets, groceries and restaurants, especially in those parts of the country with a large Latino population, such as Florida, California and the southwest. In fact, it is estimated that around 360,000 bottles of the soda are imported into the United States every hour.
One of the things that sets the Jarritos brand apart and has contributed to its popularity is the variety of flavors available, including some more unusual ones. In addition to the standard lime, strawberry and pineapple flavors, the company also manufactures a mango, tamarind and hibiscus flavored soda. In fact, Jarritos was responsible for producing the first tamarind flavored drink in Mexico. Other flavors available include watermelon, grapefruit and a sparkling water. The soda is available in the standard 1.5 liter bottle, as well as 13.5 and 20 ounce plastic and glass bottles; many drinkers claim the glass bottle makes the drink taste even better.
There is one occasion when it is particularly appropriate to drink Jarritos sodas. August 29th has been designated as the official anniversary of the introduction of the drink, while the Jarritos Flavor Festival was held in October, 2012 in Austin, TX and provided a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the drink, as well as an excuse for a party. The two day event featured authentic Mexican music, dancing, food and drink as well as plenty of the country’s favorite imported soda.
Another way to enjoy the drink is to join the company’s Club Jarritos, which allows you to accrue points and then redeem for themed merchandise. Points can be cashed in for t-shirts, posters, bumper stickers and other items.