Kosher-for-Passover Coca Cola: Closer to the Real Thing

it’s about that time of the year again: get ready to stock up on Kosher Coke!

Turns out that Coca Cola produces sugar-based Coke shortly before Passover each year; their usual high fructose corn syrup, while Kosher, falls into the Chametz category of grains that cannot be eaten during Passover.

Kosher-for-Passover Coca Cola bottle cap
Kosher-for-Passover Coca Cola bottle cap

Bottles containing the special sugar-based formula wear a distinctive yellow cap, so they’re easy to spot against the usual all-red array. To cross-check: the ingredients list runs: Carbonated Water, Sucrose …

A friend brought me a few two-liter bottles from a Jewish grocery store in the metro NYC/NJ area last year, shortly before I discovered that the local Target had a generous stockpile on the top shelf of their soda section. It’s allegedly available in cans, but I’ve never seen any.

NB: Pepsi uses yellow caps around this time of year to mark their bottles for some dimbulb contest. At least they did that last year and I’m sure it’s no coincidence. If the cap doesn’t have distinctive Hebrew symbology and the ingredients still include HFCS, it ain’t been cleared for Passover consumption.

While sugar-based Passover Coke is not the same as the old-school Coke you remember from long ago if you’re enough of an Olde Farte to do so, it’s as close as you’re going to get in these degenerate times.

In actual point of fact, sugar Coke tastes pretty much like HFCS Coke. That should not be entirely surprising, given the bazillion dollars they spend on development. Run your own side-by-side comparison, blind if you can, and report back.

If you plan to stock up on the stuff anyway, give the caps an extra twist to ensure they’re on tight before you put ’em on the shelf. I just cracked the final bottle from last year and it’s still plenty fizzy enough for me.

The phosphoric acid in either formulation is really hard on your teeth & gut, so don’t overdo it.


Update: As of 22 April, the local Target had a shelf full of yellow-cap Coke; they had none the week before Passover. Perhaps they got the last pallet a day too late? In any event, I stocked up my year’s supply in one shot. Admittedly, it’s $1.89 / 2 liter bottle, but it’s just for special occasions… and half a dozen bottles is a year’s supply for me.

4 thoughts on “Kosher-for-Passover Coca Cola: Closer to the Real Thing

  1. Coca-Cola from Mexico is generally made with cane sugar. (No subsidies for corn, I guess.) An Ann Arbor, MI Krogers often has it by the glass bottle in their Mexican foods section, and a local beer & wine store carries it (by the bottle) as well. Expensive ($1.50 or so for 12 oz, I think), but you shouldn’t be drinking much anyway.

    Better for you health-wise is to get a tank of CO2, regulator, and some fittings and make your own set up for carbonating water, fruit juices, etc. I re-use liter bottles. Can’t beat the cost (about $0.02/bottle), and you can make your own flavors.

    1. As nearly as I can tell, Mexican Coke (uh, soda) doesn’t make it all the way to upstate NY… at least the foreign-drink section in the stores we frequent don’t carry it. I may be looking in the wrong places, though.

      I did check the Open Cola project and, yow the list of ingredients and degree-of-difficulty in buying them put it far beyond my simple interests; I’ll just outsource the stuff and hope for the best.

      Seeing as how I got through the last year with four 2-liter bottles, I think I’ve got a pretty minimal jones. It is bad for you!

      Long ago & far away, my esteemed wife’s family brewed up their own root beer in a closet. She reports their setup suffered the occasional overpressure explosion in the middle of the night …

  2. I inadvertently purchased a couple bottles of the Kosher Coca Cola and I can definitely tell a difference. It almost tastes flat to me. You can definitely tell it’s not as sweet as the original.

    1. I can definitely tell a difference

      I ran a blind test on my relatives at a family gathering a few years ago: four cups, three different sodas, rank ’em and find the duplicate. Nearly everybody could find the RC Cola (ptui!), but surprisingly few could identify the duplicate. We agreed there were differences, but you couldn’t really rank them better-to-worst.

      They spend a lot of money to make it come out that way!

      FWIW, I opened the last bottle from the stash a few weeks ago and it was just fine: cranking the cap tight really helps maintain the fizz.

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