Coca-Cola Will Release Its First Ever Alcoholic Drink
It will only be available in Japan for now.
Coca-Cola is undergoing a renaissance: First of all, the company is trying to rebrand as a healthier soda option, replacing Coke Zero with Coke Zero Sugar. Meanwhile, in Japan, the company added a new beverage to its line up, called Coca-Cola Coffee Plus, which adds twice the caffeine of a regular soda to the can. Now, Coca-Cola wants to dip its toe into the booze business, with its first alcoholic offering in the company’s 125-year history.
The drink will be sold in Japan, as a riff on the country’s popular Chu-Hi cocktails, sparkling drinks made with a spirit called shochu. According to the BBC, Coca-Cola executives say the drink is unlikely to be sold outside of Japan, calling the release simply a “modest experiment.” That’s all we know about the drink so far—it doesn’t have an official release date or name yet.
Last year, the Japanese arm of Coca-Cola also released a version of its signature soda with added fiber. Stateside, the push for healthy alternatives to Coca-Cola is still happening, but the company is also launching more traditional sodas. For example, in an effort to appeal to “craft soda” drinkers, the company launched two new flavors (the first since releasing Vanilla Coke in 2002) called Georgia Peach and California Raspberry, which are supposed to be inspired the company’s “hand crafted heritage.”
The launch of a carbonated alcoholic beverage—otherwise known as alcopop—might also be an attempt by Coca-Cola to jump into the current canned cocktail trend, which has put drinks like sangria, the French 75, and gin and tonic in a can for easy drinking, especially in the summer. You can buy all those iterations of the canned cocktail in America, but if you want to try Coca-Cola’s version, you’ll have to travel to Japan. There are no plans to make a version of the drink for American consumers.