Topo Chico is a mineral water drenched in aztec myth, mexican history, and texan hipsters.
Sourced from the eponymous cerro de topo chico in Monterrey, Mexico since 1895, its fabled healing powers and millenial caché poured into the national consciousness when Coca-Cola bought the company in 2017.
While we’ve certainly had our San Pellegrino and Gerolsteiner phases in life, and at least one of us is an unabashed fan of the “pure” LaCroix, something about Topo Chico has had us hooked for over a decade (that’s right, we’re hipster flexing).
So let’s try to pierce the veil of mystique and antiquity: what makes Topo Chico so transfixing?
Any discussion of Topo Chico has to start with the bubbles. These are the lushest, roundest, juiciest bubbles in any sparkling water, mineral or otherwise.
There’s just an incomparable mouthfeel to Topo Chico, and because it’s naturally carbonated, whatever geological witchcraft happening in the thermal aquifers of Neuvo León is unreplicable and singular.
Is Topo Chico naturally carbonated?
Yes, although because it’s filtered and processed in the Topo Chico factory, some unknown amount of carbonation is lost in the process and artificially re-added during bottling.
The other facet of the subterranean sparklemancy at work here is the minerality. We can never get enough minerality, be it in our albariños or our water. And Topo Chico is defined by its perfect balance of crystalline dissolved solids.
Compared to other sparkling mineral waters, two things seem to stand out about Topo Chico. The first is that the overall alkalinity is fairly low. Our guess is that this, alongside the bubbles, contributes to the sharp crispness that makes Topo Chico hit a particularly refreshing note.
The other is the relatively higher amount of Chloride, which gives Topo Chico a unique salinity: it’s not salty per se, but there’s an edge to it that feels quenching and substantial.
Again, who knows what magia de agua natural is taking place in the Sierra Madres from whence this flows!
And the Topo Chico constellations are vast and effervescent: there’s an endless variety of classic and contemporary drinks to be made from this one beverage, from Topo Chico cocktails to herbal concoctions.
A common twist is Topo Chico in a salt-rimmed glass and a squeeze of lime. Some recommend this for hangovers, but we just recommend it for deliciousness.
If you’ve never sprinkled a dash of Angostura Bitters in your Topo Chico, try it now. Now. One or two dashes is all you need for this sparkling aromatic kaleidoscope. Actually, try any of your favorite bitters! If you want to summon the Paloma deities, try grapefruit bitters.
But our absolute favorite use of Topo Chico is making a Marfa Ranch Water, which we discovered at Cochineal. Take a drink or two from the bottle, splash in some Mezcal or Tequila, and stick a lime in there. Triple sec is optional. Martha Stewart says to garnish with some Aleppo Pepper.
This nectar of Moctezuma is a stand-out whether it’s on its own or as a tributary of a cool mixed elixir on a warm desert night. Its versatility and alluring flavor flow majestically like the bountiful waterfall in the logo. And it will always be flowing straight into our bocas abiertas.
Mineral Water, Carbon Dioxide
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