I don't really drink soda, but my adopted Puerto Rican mom, Lourdes, insisted that I try OK Kola Champagne, which she buys by the case. This is how the conversation went:
Me: *scrunched nose*
Lourdes: Good, right?
Me: This tastes like super-sugary bubble gum dipped in Splenda.
Lourdes: I know. I took that diabetes test at the doctor's and when I drank that orange $h!t, I was like, DAMN! This is good! It tastes like Kola Champagne!
(Lourdes is originally from the South Bronx, and uses colorful language)
Me: You liked the taste of the Glucose Tolerance Test?
Lourdes: Hell yeah! Because I love Kola Champagne. It's hard to find that $h!t in New York!
So there you have it. Kola Champagne: for a sugar-weary white girl from CT, it's like an orange-y, bubble-gummy Glucose Tolerance Test. But to many Puerto Ricans, it evokes memories of balmy summer days on the island and childhood trips to the local bodega. Or maybe of their last trip to the doctor.
Love it or hate it, Kola Champagne, invented in Puerto Rico, is wildly popular here on the island. And for a truly Puerto Rican experience, it's certainly worth a try. Especially if you really, really love sweet stuff.