Jarritos is celebrated these days thanks to its development of bold, fruit-forward flavors such as lime, mango and pineapple. Surprisingly, however, the soda’s first incarnation wasn’t fruity at all.

When Francisco Hill first concocted Jarritos in 1950, he focused his attention on perfecting just one flavor: coffee. Unorthodox, perhaps, but Hill was committed to establishing an identity distinct from the American-style colas so prevalent in his day. His innovative recipe — and the glass bottle in which he packaged it, which resembled a type of clay water jug (known as “jarritos” in Spanish, which translates as “little jars”) ubiquitous throughout Mexico — caught on quickly.

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