Kosher Coke: The Real Real Thing

Often I pop into Belden's in Meyerland because it's a throwback supermarket with unique food items, and right now it has "Houston's Largest Selection Kosher for Passover." That matters because it's the short season for Kosher Coca-Cola.

I'm not from Sugar Land, but I love sugar in my Coke. In fact, I was born in Indiana, which doesn't mean I don't like corn in my Coke, specifically high-fructose corn syrup. It's not for health reasons. The problem is the unctuous mouth-feel, like there's a few drops corn oil in my soda, and the addition of rum makes it even less palatable.

Kosher Cokes use the real stuff, due to the restriction on chametz (certain types of grain) and other leavening during Passover. The two-liter bottles have yellow caps with the letters OU-P, and Kosher L'Pesach written in Hebrew.

Unfortunately, the Coke comes in plastic PET bottles, which are gas-permeable. The soda loses its fizz in about two months, so no use hoarding Passover Coke for the summer.

That leaves Mexican Coca-Cola, in the glass bottles. I've always thought they were flat compared to the American version, so I did a head-to-head sugar comparison with Passover Coke. The Kosher soda has slightly more zing to it than the Mexican one, but it was negligible enough to prove me pleasantly wrong. The taste was the same.

That means that I'll be buying Kosher now and switching to Mexican in the summer, because I'd feel sacrilegious putting rum in a Passover soda.

Cuba Libré

  • 1½ ounce rum
  • 4½ ounce sugary Coca-Cola
  • 2 wedges lime or ½ key lime

Lightly muddle the lime in the bottom of a glass to extract the juice and some lime oil from the skin.

Pour in Coke, add ice cubes. Play "Guantanamera."

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John Kiely
Contact: John Kiely