Coca-Cola started the year off by convincing us we wanted to drink orange-flavored pop. And hey, we didn’t hate the ginger lime variety. Now, the soda giant is branching even further out with a new line of alcoholic beverages. Call them “alcopop.”
Let’s start right off with the bad news: Coke’s new alcoholic drinks are only being made for the Japanese market, BBC reports. In Japan, people are drinking more and more Chu-Hi, a carbonated flavored drink made with a Japanese spirit called shochu. Shochu is made from sweet potato, barley, rice, and other ingredients, and it is distilled (unlike sake, which is fermented). Chu-Hi is short for “shochu highball.”
Because it has a relatively low ABV — between 3% and 8% — and comes in fruity flavors like lemon, grapefruit, and peach, Chu-Hi is a good alternative for people who don’t love heavy beer but still want a little buzz. With its own fizzy alcopop, Coke will try to tap into that beer-adverse group of drinkers in a relatively small market.
Here in the States, alcopops like Bacardi Breezers and Smirnoff Ice just aren’t that popular anymore (for good reason). But this is the first-ever boozy experiment Coke has made in its 126-year history. If it’s successful, maybe it’ll make its way to across the Pacific.