Jarritos is a popular brand of Mexican soda that has been in available in the US (or at least California) for quite a few years. Lately, they seem to be available at every store that sells sodas, from 7-11 to major supermarkets, but most stores only carry a few flavors. They come in glass bottles with 12.5 fl oz 1.5 liter plastic bottles, and they cost between $1-$2 at most stores. Recently, I was able to find a 12-pack at Grocery Outlet that features a bottle for each of its dozen flavors for $9, and decided to give them all a try. Here are my notes.
In general, while Jarritos are made with sugar instead of corn syrup they tend to be less sweet than American sodas. This sometimes gives them a watery finish. They tend to be subtly carbonated, a bit less than American sodas – or so it feels.
Mxcn Cola: it has a citrusy, sweet flavor that reminds me of a coke on ice with a slice or two of lemon that has gone a bit flat. I like it, though I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
Fruit Punch: I was surprised at how much I liked this, given that I’m not a fan of fruit punch. It had a fruity flavor but wasn’t too sweet or too citrusy. It was an overall good summer drink.
Pineapple: it didn’t taste very much of pineapple or anything else, but it was pleasant, fruity and not too sweet. I’m not sure there is a particular reason to seek it out, but it’s not something I would mind drinking.
Watermelon: my daughter thinks this tastes exactly like a watermelon jolly rancher. Personally, I only tasted the watermelon in the after taste, but I found the soda too sweet and somewhat reminiscent of cold syrup. I wouldn’t drink it again.
Mango: I’m not a huge fan of mango, having overdosed on it a summer over thirty years ago, but this soda does taste like mango, and my daughter who likes mango, likes it.
Mandarin: This is one of the flavors I regularly buy. It has an aftertaste of artificial tangerine which I like, and it’s definitely not very sweet. It doesn’t resemble orange soda at all.
Strawberry: I was apprehensive about trying this flavor because, while I’ve never tried strawberry soda before, I absolutely hate strawberry-scented sparkling water. Fortunately, this one wasn’t offensive. It doesn’t taste at all like strawberries, not even strawberries’ second cousins, but it has a generic fruity flavor and it’s not too sweet or citrusy. Basically, it’s pretty close to the fruit punch flavor.
Lime: Now I understand why major soda companies have gone with lemon-lime as a flavor. The lime flavor alone lacked the citrusy spark you want in a lemon-lime soda, and thus felt pretty flat. It also didn’t have the sweet, inviting flavor of limeade. All in all, I wouldn’t seek it out.
Guava: This was one of my favorite flavors. I love guava juice, but I find it too sweet. This soda has some guava flavor, but it’s far less sweet. Plus I’m a fan of carbonation. My daughter couldn’t taste the guava at all, however. Still, I’d buy it.
Grapefruit: This is one of my favorite flavors which I have bought before often. It is pretty similar to other grapefruit sodas but less sweet and with a weaker finish. Good for thirst.
Jamaica: They translated the name of all other flavors, so I’m not sure why they didn’t do it with this one. In any case, this is a hibiscus flavored soda. I thought it was pretty good. It definitely tasted of hibiscus, particularly in the finish. I did find it a bit too sweet for me, so I wouldn’t be drinking it if I was too thirsty.
Tamarind: I had bought a large bottle of this Jarrito flavor before and no one in the house had liked it. I ended up pouring most of it down the drain. So I was apprehensive about trying it again. But this time, I rather liked it. It has a subtle taste of tamarind when you take a sip, and then a dry finish that sort of reminded me of guarana soda – but less sweet. I don’t think I’d buy a big bottle again, but it’s pleasant enough to drink.