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Drink of the Week: Pineapple Jarritos at West Columbia's El Mariachi Supermercado

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$1.59 per bottle. 1078 Sunset Blvd. facebook.com/ElmariachiColumbiaSC.

As much as I longingly anticipate the spring time change, I hate the fallout it has on my internal clock. Getting up earlier, eating lunch earlier, trying to go to bed earlier, all by an hour, is too much.

So when time change rolls around, it’s time to rely on bad habits and caffeinated or sugary drinks to get through the afternoon slump — and the colorful lineup of Jarritos definitely fulfills the latter.

Perhaps a sugar rush isn’t the healthiest way to jolt your mind and body, but it is a delicious one. Jarritos come in a variety of fruity flavors, from the pedestrian lemon, lime and strawberry, to the more tropical tamarind, guava and pineapple.

They are ubiquitous in the international aisle of most major grocery stores in the United States, and tiendas often have an entire aisle dedicated to every flavor imaginable. A pineapple Jarritos packs a whopping 35 grams of pure cane sugar per bottle, which will give you that sugar rush to get you over the afternoon hump — but it’s a pure sugar rush. Other flavors have similarly high sugar counts, so a Jarritos is best enjoyed as an occasional treat and stimulant rather than a daily indulgence.

Jarritos are not as heavily carbonated as typical sodas, which makes space for the flavors to really shine. This is especially the case with pineapple, which tastes the most like its fruit analog. The only yellow-hued Jarrito on the shelf, it’s easy to spot in the rainbow lineup on the store’s shelf. The pineapple-ness is pure and clear, and anyone with a blindfold on would know within one sip  what flavor they were drinking.

For the widest variety of flavors, visit a larger Hispanic supermarket like the El Mariachi Supermercado in West Columbia. Smaller tiendas and most grocery stores have them as well, but flavors may be limited.

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