A jarrito is a type of Mexican fruit-flavored soft drink sold in a distinctive squarish bottle. Jarritos are brightly colored, sweet and refreshing non-alcoholic beverages that originated in Mexico but are now popular worldwide. Some key facts about jarritos:
- Jarritos are made with real fruit flavors like tamarind, mandarin, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, guava, mango, fruit punch, strawberry, jamaica (hibiscus) and toronja (grapefruit).
- The name “jarrito” means “little jug” in Spanish, referring to the drink’s traditional small glass bottles.
- Jarritos date back to the early 20th century when they were sold at Mexican markets in large clay jugs. The first bottled jarritos were produced in the 1920s.
- Today jarritos are exported around the world and popular with Hispanic communities as well as mainstream consumers.
- The flavors are sweet and intense, often described as brighter and fruitier than American sodas.
- Jarritos contain natural flavors but are also high in sugar. Most have 35-55 grams of sugar per 12 oz bottle.
- The vibrantly colored glass bottles and retro-styled logos are an iconic part of the jarritos brand image.
Jarritos remain a cherished taste of Mexico and Mexican culture, providing a tangy, sweet hit of fruit flavors in every sip.
History of Jarritos
The history of jarritos reaches back over a century. Some key events in the development of Mexico’s beloved fruit-flavored soda:
– Jarritos have their origins in the Mexican tradition of drinking juice, sugar and water called “aguas frescas.” Street vendors in the early 1900s sold these refreshing drinks in large clay jugs called jarros.
– This inspired the first jarritos to be sold in the 1920s. The El Globo company bottled fruit-flavored sodas in glass bottles modeled after the jug vendors’ jars.
– Glass bottles were an important innovation as they allowed jarritos to be portable and able to be tightly sealed. This commercialized Mexican flavored sodas for the first time.
– Jarritos were originally marketed to adults as a sophisticated drink. Early advertising featured elegant women and the tagline “El buen tono,” or “the good tone.”
– By the 1950s and 60s, jarritos advertising shifted to focus more on children. The brands mascot, “Jarrito,” a little anthropomorphic bottle, was introduced.
– Exports to the United States began in the 1960s to serve displaced Mexican communities. This fueled jarritos’ growth for decades.
– Jarritos became widely recognized in the US in the 1990s and 2000s through promotions, TV appearances and sponsorships.
– The drinks are now distributed internationally across Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. Japan, Chile, Peru and Australia are major markets.
– While remaining committed to classic glass bottles and retro logo designs, jarritos continues to evolve.
– New flavors like strawberry, grapefruit and jamaica (hibiscus) have been added over the years alongside traditional flavors like tamarind, lime, fruit punch and mandarin.
– Product lines have expanded to include naturally sweetened options, alcohol spirits, soda fountains and even craft beers using jarritos flavors.
– Limited edition seasonal flavors like sandia (watermelon) have also been introduced.
After over 100 years, jarritos retains its quintessential Mexican flavors and branding while expanding its popularity worldwide. It’s grown into a global brand while retaining its sugary, fruity appeal.
The defining characteristic of jarritos is its range of delicious fruit flavors from tangy citrus to sweet tropical. Here are some of the most popular jarritos varieties:
Tamarind – Known as “tamarindo” in Spanish, this sweet and sour flavor is the most popular and classic jarritos. Made from the pulp of tamarind pods, it has a unique tartness.
Mandarin – Called “mandarina,” this has a sweet, mild and slightly floral citrus flavor. It’s refreshing like an orange soda with more natural fruit taste.
Lime – Translated as “limón,” this has a refreshing tangy lime flavor. It’s crisp, sour and vibrant like biting into a fresh lime.
Fruit Punch – A blended red fruit flavor called “frutsi punch,” this is sweeter like Hawaiian Punch with notes of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and other berries.
Pineapple – With a tropical “piña” flavor, this tastes like fresh juicy pineapple and is sweeter than more acidic citrus varieties.
Strawberry – “Fresa” in Spanish, this has a distinctly fruity strawberry taste, although it uses strawberry flavoring not actual fruit.
Grapefruit – Called “toronja,” this is a bitter and sour pink grapefruit flavor balanced by sweetness.
Jamaica – Named after the crimson hibiscus flower, this “flor de jamaica” flavor has a subtly tangy, earthy taste.
Guava – Known as “guayaba,” this has a sweet, mild pear-like flavor with hints of strawberry.
These natural fruit flavors give each brightly colored jarritos variety a distinct personality. The flavors explode on the palate and make jarritos a popular alternative to cola sodas.
Jarritos’ Distinctive Bottles
Part of what makes jarritos so recognizable is the shape of its glass bottles. Some details on the iconic jarritos bottles:
– Shape – Jarritos come in 8.5 oz or 12 oz glass bottles with a distinctive rounded square shape. The embossed base gives them a retro, handcrafted look.
– Colors – Each fruit flavor has its own vibrant bottle color that matches the hue of the liquid. Tamarind is brown, mandarin orange, lime green, etc. This makes them colorful and eye-catching.
– Labels – The logos feature bright colors, folk art designs and a hand-painted look. Some have traditional Mexican patterns. Each flavor has a different label.
– Materials – Unlike plastic soda bottles, glass allows optimal carbonation and retention of flavors. Glass also has a nice weight and texture.
– Lid – Metal bottle caps keep the drinks carbonated. Some special edition bottles have swing-top lids. The caps also incorporate design details.
– Text – Jarritos logos feature retro-styled scripts. Bottles say “La Original” highlighting jarritos as an authentic Mexican original.
– Size – The compact bottles are designed for individual serving portions. Their portable size makes jarritos drinks convenient and shareable.
The iconic bottles give each fruit-flavored variety a visual identity aligned with the Mexican roots of the brand. It’s become a beloved and nostalgic package design.
Nutrition Facts & Sugar Content
While loved for their delicious fruity flavors, jarritos are also high in sugar content. Understanding their nutrition information can help drink them in moderation:
– Serving Size – One 12 oz glass bottle of jarritos contains about 1-2 servings. The compact 8.5 oz size has about 1 serving per bottle.
– Calories – A 12 oz bottle ranges from 140-180 calories, while the smaller 8.5 oz size has around 100 calories. This is on par with other sodas.
– Sugar – The main concern is jarritos’ high sugar content. They contain 35-55 grams of sugar in a 12 oz bottle, exceeding the daily recommended limit. The 8.5 oz size has 20-30 grams of sugar.
– Carbohydrates – A 12 oz serving ranges from 36-46 grams of carbohydrates, almost all from naturally-derived cane sugar. The 8.5 oz bottle has around 26-32 grams of carbohydrates.
– Other Ingredients – Ingredients include carbonated water, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium benzoate preservative, acesulfame potassium sweetener, and vegetable gum.
– No Fat, Protein or Fiber – Jarritos contain no fat, protein or dietary fiber. All their calories come from carbohydrate sugars.
– Vitamins – Jarritos have added Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). A 12 oz bottle contains 100% of the daily Vitamin C recommended amount.
So while jarritos have tasty fruit flavors, they lack nutritional value beyond Vitamin C and carbohydrate energy from sugar. Moderation is key given the high sugar content.
Where to Buy Jarritos
Jarritos Mexican sodas were originally only found in ethnic groceries but are now widely available. Here are the best places to buy jarritos:
– Mexican Markets – Ethnic Mexican supermarkets like Northgate González Market are guaranteed to stock jarritos. They’ll have the full range of classic flavors.
– Convenience Stores – Jarritos are carried by major convenience store chains like 7-Eleven, Circle K, ampm, QuickTrip, Wawa, Casey’s and others.
– Hispanic Aisles – Larger supermarket chains often have Hispanic or international food aisles stocking jarritos. Walmart, Target, Kroger and Publix are good bets.
– Gas Stations – Jarritos are a popular offering at gas stations and travel centers. Brands like Pilot, Love’s, TA, Chevron, Shell, etc. will have them.
– Vending Machines – Jarritos can sometimes be found in vending machines in places with Hispanic populations like college campuses, malls and offices.
– Online – Jarritos are available online from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Instacart and grocery delivery services. This provides wider access.
– Restaurants – Some Mexican restaurants, food trucks, taquerias and Tex-Mex chains offer jarritos on soda fountains alongside mainstream sodas.
Thanks to growing distribution, jarritos’ tangy fruity flavors are easier than ever to enjoy in the U.S. and worldwide.
Jarritos Cocktail Recipes
Beyond just drinking them straight, jarritos sodas can be used as mixers for homemade cocktail recipes. Their sweet fruity flavors pair well with spirits like tequila, rum and vodka. Try these popular jarritos cocktail recipes:
Jarritos Paloma Cocktail
– Ingredients: Grapefruit jarritos, tequila, lime juice, salt or sugar for rim
– Directions: Rim a glass with salt or sugar. Fill with ice and add tequila, grapefruit jarritos and a squeeze of lime. Adjust ratios to taste. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Jarritos Lime Rickey
– Ingredients: Lime jarritos, gin or vodka, lime wedge
– Directions: Fill a glass with ice. Add gin or vodka. Top with lime jarritos. Squeeze and drop in lime wedge. Stir gently.
Jarritos Golden Margarita
– Ingredients: Mandarin jarritos, gold tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, orange slice
– Directions: Rim glass with salt or sugar. Shake liquids with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with orange slice.
Jarritos Tamarind Martini
– Ingredients: Tamarind jarritos, vodka, sugar
– Directions: Wet glass rim and dip into sugar to coat. Fill shaker with vodka, tamarind jarritos and sugar. Shake with ice and strain into glass.
Jarritos Cuba Libre
– Ingredients: Cola jarritos, rum, lime
– Directions: Fill glass with ice, rum and lime juice. Top with cola jarritos. Garnish with lime wedge.
Thanks to their diversity of flavors, jarritos offer many options for creative homemade mixed drinks beyond standard margaritas and daiquiris. They make especially good tequila and vodka mixers. ¡Salud!
Where Jarritos Are Made
Authentic jarritos sodas are made and bottled in Mexico. The brands’ manufacturing facilities are concentrated close to their roots in Guadalajara.
– Novamex – Jarritos is owned and bottled by Novamex, one of Mexico’s largest beverage companies. Their main plant is in Guadalajara, which houses the jarritos bottling operation.
– Second Mexico City Facility – Novamex operates a second production plant in Mexico City. This also bottles jarritos to meet high national demand.
– Mexican Facilities Only – Novamex has resisted opening U.S. bottling plants, even as exports have increased. Keeping manufacturing in Mexico ensures consistent quality and standards.
– Local Sodas Use Jarritos Brand – Novamex licenses the Jarritos brand to some independent bottlers that produce their own sodas following the company’s recipes and standards.
– International Exports – Jarritos are shipped from Mexico around the world. Major export destinations include the United States, Japan, Central/South America and Australia.
So despite popularity beyond Mexico’s borders, authentic jarritos sodas are only bottled within Mexico to preserve their heritage. Consumers worldwide get to enjoy Mexico’s flavors.
Jarritos Advertising & Culture
While tasting delicious, jarritos sodas have also embedded themselves into pop culture through creative advertising and merchandising:
– Mascots – Jarritos’ original mascot was “Jarrito,” an anthropomorphic bottle character featured in mid-century advertising. Today El Jarocho represents the brand.
– Slogans – “¡Qué buenos son!” (“They’re so good!”) is commonly associated with jarritos. Their labels also read “La original” and “Hecho en Mexico.”
– Festive Branding – Jarritos conveys a colorful, fun-loving image. Pinatas, lucha libre, mariachis and other cultural touchpoints are used in branding.
– Pop Culture Appearances – Jarritos have gained exposure through cameos in TV shows like The Simpsons and Better Call Saul, and movies including Nacho Libre.
– Merchandise – From t-shirts to hats to collectible figurines, Jarritos produces lively merch featuring its logos and bottle graphics.
– Sponsorships – Jarritos has sponsored extreme sports like surfing, skating, racing and skydiving to cultivate a youthful, adventurous identity.
– Mexican Heritage – Marketing leans into Jarritos as an iconic Mexican brand, even incorporating patriotic themes like the national colors on its labels.
Thanks to its vibrant branding, Jarritos holds a beloved place in Mexican popular culture beyond just its sweet flavors.
For over a century, Jarritos soda has quenched people’s thirst with the vibrant fruity flavors of Mexico. These fizzy fruit sodas offer a sweet, tangy and refreshing drink alternative with their own unique legacy of retro glass bottles and lively Latino branding. While high in sugar, sipping a Jarrito remains a classic Mexican experience that brings a fiesta of taste to every serving. Jarritos’ rich flavors and heritage make it Mexico’s national soft drink treasure loved both within and beyond its borders. They are “so good” indeed.