Coca-Cola launched its first alcoholic product in Japan in May, 2018. The experiment is “unique” in the company’s 125-year history, the drink, called Lemon-Do contains 3%, 5% and 7%, alcohol.
The “chuhai” drinks contain vodka or a distilled, grain-based spirit called “shochu. They come in a range of flavors such as grape, strawberry, kiwi and white peach.
According to Coca-Cola’s website, the product developers got the idea after visiting Japanese-style “izakaya” pubs, where they discovered that lemon-flavored drinks are popular.
The US company has no plans to launch the product more widely, and will not be available everywhere in Japan. The drink will be sold only in the southern Kyushu region of Japan. A 350 ml can of Lemon-Do costs 150 yen ($1.80).
Canned drinks offer a cheaper alternative to beer and more choice in flavor and alcohol content, ranging from less than 3% to 8% alcohol.
Coca-Cola, or Coke was invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton and was bought out by businessman Asa Griggs Candler, whose marketing tactics led Coca-Cola to its dominance of the world soft-drink market throughout the 20th century.
The drink’s name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves, and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). The current formula of Coca-Cola remains a trade secret, although a variety of reported recipes and experimental recreations have been published.
Confederate Colonel John Pemberton, who was wounded in the American Civil War and became addicted to morphine, began a quest to find a substitute for the problematic drug. The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical House, a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia, originally as a coca wine.
When launched, Coca-Cola’s two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine. The cocaine was derived from the coca leaf and the caffeine from kola nut, leading to the name Coca-Cola (the “K” in Kola was replaced with a “C” for marketing purposes).
RT.com / ABC Flash Alcohol News 2018.