Why Does Mexican Coke Taste Different Than American Coke?

Those lucky enough to have tried different kinds of Coke from around the world by traveling or simply visiting the World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia, have probably noticed some differences between the beverages served across the globe. And if you haven't experienced this phenomenon firsthand, you've likely heard at least one person talk about how much more they like Mexican Coke than Coke from the United States. You may have even heard that anyone claiming to have a preference between the two is just being snobby. Though some believe Mexican Coca-Cola is better because it tastes fresher or has more carbonation than Coke from the United States, that isn't actually what makes the two different, according to Reader's Digest

Die-hard Mexican Coke fans who go out of their way to find those glass bottles are not imagining things. If you pay attention to your soda or do a side-by-side taste test as Serious Eats conducted, there is an actual difference in the flavor. Mexican Coke has one ingredient that sets it apart from U.S. Coca-Cola, and it just might be enough to make you switch.

This is what really separates American Coke from Mexican Coke

It all comes down to how the two sodas are sweetened. American Coke uses high-fructose corn syrup, according to Reader's Digest. Mexican Coca-Cola uses cane sugar. According to the Food Network, cane sugar is less processed than high-fructose corn syrup. So, for those who would prefer to drink a more natural version of the product, that one swap alone is enough to switch from American to Mexican Coke. Though that makes all the difference to many people, it isn't the deciding factor in a blind tasting, according to Serious Eats.  

Renowned Chef J. Kenji Lopéz-Alt conducted a blind taste test and found that people gravitated to American Coca-Cola based on flavor. But those who cared less about the smell and taste of Coke simply preferred the feel of glass. So, a preference for Mexican Coke may all be in your head. The next time you have the opportunity to try them together, test it out for yourself with the help of a friend and see which version of Coca-Cola you prefer.