Founded in Monterey, Mexico in 1895, Topo Chico’s uber-bubbly mineral water is now an internationally recognized brand. The story of this seemingly innocuous sparkling water that was born in Mexico, raised in Texas and is now flourishing on multiple continents—thanks in part to its acquisition by Coca Cola in 2017—dates back over 125 years.
History of production and relationship with Coca-Cola
The history and relationship between Topo Chico and Coca-Cola can be traced back approximately 100 years, highlighting a long-standing association between the two companies. Interestingly, prior to Coca-Cola’s acquisition of Topo Chico, it was actually Topo Chico that obtained the licensing rights to bottle Coca-Cola in Mexico a century ago. This enduring partnership with Coca-Cola over the years made Coke’s decision to acquire Topo Chico a natural progression.
Founded in 1895, Topo Chico initially began its journey by sourcing and bottling water from a spring located near a small hill shaped like a mole, from which it derived its name. The word “Topo” means “mole” in Spanish, while “chico” translates to “small.” Remarkably, even after 127 years, Topo Chico still relies on the same pristine water source, the “Cerro del Topo Chico” spring, to provide the exceptional water quality that has become its hallmark.
The minerals matter
Topo Chico stands out from ordinary sparkling water, such as seltzer or club soda, due to its distinction as mineral water. It naturally contains essential minerals and electrolytes like Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese. In contrast, popular sparkling water brands like “La Croix” only offer seltzer without any added minerals. What makes these minerals so remarkable?
Sodium plays a crucial role in regulating blood and bodily fluids, and its absence can significantly impair bodily functions. It also facilitates the transmission of electrical impulses in the body. Calcium, an important nutrient, serves as a vital component for bones and teeth. Magnesium aids in digestion, helps muscles recover, and promotes a sense of calm. Potassium acts as a fuel for the heart, supports kidney function, and aids in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Manganese acts as an antioxidant, benefiting bone health and boosting collagen production for healthier-looking skin.
While consuming Topo Chico on a daily basis may not single-handedly solve all your health issues, it certainly won’t harm you, and the additional mineral intake could yield some positive effects. Moreover, the electrolyte-rich nature of this water will aid in maintaining hydration, which is beneficial in itself.
It now comes in 3 flavors but you may like the original
In addition to their original unflavored version, TC also comes in three litely flavored mineral waters; Twist of Lime, Twist of Grapefruit and Twist of Tangerine—all zero calorie.
While Topo Chico’s flavored versions are quite popular, their original unflavored water tastes quite good too. The naturally occuring carbonation, while plenty effervescent, has a softer mouthfeel than other sparkling waters, as if the bubbles are smaller but greater in quantity, leading to a texture that is mellow and inviting. Also, despite the minerals, TC also has a very mild aftertaste, if any at all—something I would imagine most people want in a sparkling water. Less is more.
It all about the bubbles
When it comes to the aftertaste, less can be more, but when it comes to carbonation, more is definitely more. This is where Topo Chico truly shines—its secret weapon lies in its bubbles. Put simply, the naturally occurring carbonation in Topo Chico is both explosively effervescent and remarkably long-lasting, surpassing any other brand I’ve tried. It’s no wonder that it has gained a devoted following among consumers and bartenders alike, who seek a vibrant Vodka Soda or Tom Collins with a ferocious fizz that refuses to go flat.
Even if you leave an open bottle of Topo Chico out overnight, the next day it will taste as if you just cracked it open. Unlike some other mineral waters, which can contain high levels of sodium that may deter some individuals, Topo Chico boasts a relatively low sodium content, providing a refreshing and thirst-quenching sensation without overwhelming the palate.
What is Ranch Water?
When it comes to creating an authentic Ranch Water cocktail, Topo Chico is an absolute must. If you’re not yet familiar with Ranch Water, it’s a refreshing drink consisting of tequila, soda, and lime—a popular choice nowadays due to its low-calorie profile and reduced hangover potential. However, it’s important to note that a true Ranch Water can only be achieved by using Topo Chico. As the unofficial cocktail of Texas, which happens to be the unofficial home-away-from-home for Topo Chico, this beloved drink has played a significant role in the meteoric rise of Topo Chico’s popularity over the past decade. Texans, known for their deep affinity for Topo Chico, have undoubtedly contributed to its widespread acclaim.
Photo Courtesy: Valerie’s Kitchen
TC launches hard seltzer lineup (no surprise there)
In March of 2021, Topo Chico introduced a range of Hard Seltzers to the market, a move that hardly came as a surprise in today’s craze for hard seltzers. This lineup offered an array of enticing flavors, including Tangy Lemon Lime, Exotic Pineapple, Strawberry Guava, and Tropical Mango. Building on their success, almost a year later, Topo Chico unveiled a new collection of hard seltzers called “Margaritas,” featuring flavors inspired by the classic cocktail. These delightful options included Signature Margarita, Tropical Pineapple, Strawberry Hibiscus, and Prickly Pear, each capturing the essence of tropical indulgence with a dash of salt, lime, and tequila flavors.
During the same launch campaign, Topo Chico also unveiled their highly anticipated “Ranch Water” Hard Seltzer, drawing inspiration from the renowned cocktail recipe made famous by Texas bartenders. The Topo Chico Ranch Water Hard Seltzer was crafted with real lime juice, offering a truly refreshing and crisp taste that echoes the beloved original cocktail. This release further demonstrated Topo Chico’s commitment to innovation and their ability to capture the essence of popular flavors in a convenient and effervescent form.