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End Of An Era

funny pictures

Back when I drank alcohol my favorite mixed drink was Jack Daniels Black Label and Coke. Not cola, and not just any Coke, but the Coke in glass bottles from the original Atlanta bottling plant. The Coke in the glass bottles was made with cane sugar, not this corn syrup crap.

Those days have passed with this drought. The water for both products is drying up, and all water is not the same. Each aquifer or spring contains a unique mineral content from the ground it passes through and you can’t duplicate it. Most people will move on, but a few purist will have to live off the memories of days gone by. The new versions might objectively be better, but they damn sure won’t be the same.


1 andante { 11.14.07 at 10:29 pm }

I blame my mother for my cola-holic problems.

That genuine, glass-bottled Coke was my mother’s universal cure for just about anything – from an earache to nausea.

That’s just about the only time we got it, therefore there’s a hint of forbidden fruit in those shapely glass bottles.

2 hipparchia { 11.14.07 at 10:33 pm }

that’s the only time we got coke too! and of course, glass bottles only.

3 Bryan { 11.15.07 at 12:07 am }

That little 5-3/4 ounce bottle coming out of the lift the top and move the bottle through the maze in the vat of ice water was nectar on summer day. You popped the top and ice crystals formed in the bottle and that first gulp was the best thing in the universe.

In a pinch you could pound nail with that bottle, and I saw more than a few electric systems that used them as insulators.

4 Michael { 11.15.07 at 3:22 am }

My grandfather kept a stash of them for awhile after New Coke came out, and then when they finally came back out with the Coke Classic (which uses HFCS) the taste was close enough that people didn’t notice the switch.

We enjoyed finishing off the rest of the stash, though.

5 Fallenmonk { 11.15.07 at 6:15 am }

That is one nice thing about traveling in Europe. Most countries don’t allow HFCS and so the Coke is still made with sugar. It sure brings back some memories when you taste it. I actually still have a six pack of the small bottles in the basement. I bought them when new Coke came out. My friends that work for Coke say it is well past its acceptable shelf life and will not be drinkable but I am hanging on to them anyway.

6 Bryan { 11.15.07 at 10:32 am }

I think “New Coke” topped the Edsel as the worst American marketing idea in the world, and I stocked up when it happened.

I hate HFCS and can taste the difference. I stay with cane sugar even though the difference isn’t very noticeable, it is there in cooking.

I have a friend who is a collector, and having working in a grocery store all her life, she has quite a mass of things that were used in advertising over the years, including special edition bottles.

If the drought doesn’t break, Coke isn’t going to have a choice, and will have to move the bottling plant.

7 Michael { 11.15.07 at 12:50 pm }

I think New Coke was (perhaps inadvertently) brilliant, as it allowed the company to massively cut their costs of production substituting not only HFCS for cane sugar but also they removed Vanilla and replaced it with Vanillin, and probably made other changes. So they in the end were able to deliver an inferior product that the American people accepted.

8 Michael { 11.15.07 at 12:50 pm }

The main difference with New Coke itself is they even removed the coca. That was put back in Coke Classic.

9 Michael { 11.15.07 at 12:51 pm }

I screwed up my tags there.

10 Steve Bates { 11.15.07 at 1:29 pm }

The only thing that can be cured by the stuff Coca-Cola Corp. bottles these days is… one’s taste for Coke.

Houston has a Coca-Cola bottling plant, and there’s no drought here… yet… so if your object is to drink something out of cans with the Coke label, the goods will probably continue to be available. Warning: it doesn’t taste like the alleged real thing. The best thing about the Houston plant is the topiary old-fashioned Coke bottle growing in front of the building; I must post a picture of it someday. Symbolically, the topiary is beginning to lose its shape.

One of my very earliest memories is of walking to the corner grocery store with my father, where he treated me to a Coke in one of those glass bottles you describe so well. That must have been 55 or 56 years ago, and the memory is with me to this day. I attribute my shameful addiction to soft drinks today to my unquenched thirst for that first remembered Coke. It is my vain attempt to recapture that satisfaction.

11 Bryan { 11.15.07 at 3:25 pm }

If they had made one change, say HFCS for sugar, they might have gotten away with it, but they messed around and changed too many things. A smart marketing department would make the original formula available with the vanilla, cane sugar, etc. in glass bottles and sell like a fine wine. When you look at what people are paying for filtered tap water in plastic bottles, it should make a mint.

12 Cookie Jill { 11.15.07 at 11:05 pm }

You can get the sugared bottled version of Coca Cola in Mexico.

13 Bryan { 11.15.07 at 11:57 pm }

I know, but it tends to have too much sugar. My brother sends my Mother spices and food extracts like vanilla when he makes a swing into Mexico. They are much cheaper, and still real.

14 Steve Bates { 11.16.07 at 7:11 am }

“You can get the sugared bottled version of Coca Cola in Mexico.” – Cookie Jill

Jill, the very Mexico-oriented grocery store around the corner from me in Houston actually reimports that Coke from Mexico. I didn’t know it contains sugar; I’ll have to try it. Or maybe not… I don’t need anything to further my soft drink addiction, which is mostly to those awful diet versions. Still, it is tempting…