A Cooler Coke: Sidral Mundet

My parents always had a fairly progressive attitude toward drinking. From a fairly young age, we were allowed a glass of wine at dinner, if we really wanted it. A champagne toast at the New Year? Not a big deal. While I'm sure it's a controversial notion, I firmly believe that their treatment of alcohol consumption, both modeling responsible drinking and refusing to bestow upon it the glamor of the forbidden, was a wise choice.

Lest you think that my mom was sending us skipping merrily along with gin in our sippy cups, let me assure you that "a fairly young age" means about 12. Before that, our de-facto tipple on special occasions was sparkling apple or grape juice. It looked the part, with its corked 750ml bottles and thrilling effervescence, allowing us to feel like we were participating, while reserving the real thing for when we had mustered a bit more maturity.

Perhaps that's part of why I like Sidral Mundet so much. This Mexican soda dates back to 1900, though I only came across it a couple of years ago. I'm not even sure what drew me in, to begin with. Perhaps it was the intriguing simplicity of the packaging, a clear glass bottle embossed (barely visibly, at first glance) with an apple. Whatever it was, Sidral Mundet quickly became one of my favorite sodas.

Part of what I prize in Sidral Mundet is its relative lack of sweetness. The flavor is very clean, coming on a bit tart at the outset, then showing clear, straightforward apple flavor. I'd go out on a limb and say that this soda tastes more like apple than the apple juice I drank as a kid. There's just a hint of astringency, and a nicely rounded background note, reminiscent of un-sweet caramel in its slight buttery richness.

Sidral Mundet is also touted for its medicinal qualities, particularly as a cure for upset stomach. I gave that a try once, and it seemed to work. Chalk it up to placebo effect, if you want. I'll chalk it up to the bubbles. Those come out in force in Sidral Mundet. I don't think I've been burpier from a soda than I always am after a bottle of this stuff.

I've heard rumors that Mundet also offers a green apple version, Mundet Manzana Verde, but I've yet to find it. Since one of the things that makes Sidral Mundet so refreshing is that opening salvo of acidity, I have a feeling this would be right up my alley. Any of you seen it?

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