Pop Culture: Sidral Mundet

As a pop-head, I'm not exaggerating when I say that one my favorite things about living in Phoenix is the availability of Mexican sodas. Mexicans are the only people who drink more soda per capita than Americans, and they have a truly amazing array of flavors: usually fruity, a little sweeter and less carbonated. In The Valley of the Sun we've got great access to them - glass bottles are no novelty here - which is why I'll be reviewing them here frequently.

Today I turn my attention to Sidral Mundet, one of Mexico's oldest and most beloved beverages. Bottled since 1902, the apple-flavored pop is said to cure stomach aches and is given to sick children to rehydrate them. I got mine at La Tolteca at Van Buren and 12th Street for $1.80.

As the company says: "Sidral Mundet, once bottled, is submitted to a pasteurization process, which consists in having the tapped bottles go thru a series of water curtains at different temperature levels, resulting in the elimination of any yeasts, fungus or bacteria from the soft drink. The beverage ends up free of any deteriorations or alterations, while keeping its refreshing flavors and nutritive qualities untouched."

So, aside from the supposed medicinal benefits, what does this soda have going for it?

Verdict: A nice, understated apple flavor more akin to cider than juice and a gorgeous light caramel-apple color. It's sweetened with real sugar, not HFCS, and tastes cleaner, and lighter than many American beverages. I'm quite a fan of the stuff. And my team of tasters?

Jasmine: "It's pleasantly apple tasting but not too strong. It's subtle but it has a nice crisp."

Jay: "There's not really a reason to drink it. It's not bad by any means but there's nothing to it."

Peter: "It doesn't taste like soda."

Jonathan: "Subtle but good. Nice apple flavor, not too crazy strong." -- Martin Cizmar

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