Boozy fizzy: Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink

Boozy fizzy: Coca-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink
Coca-Cola launched its first alcoholic product in Japan on Monday. The experiment is “unique” in the company's 125-year history, said Coca-Cola Japan president Jorge Garduno.

The drink, called Lemon-Do contains three, five and seven percent alcohol. 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 “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.

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).

"This is a pilot project in the region which has a sizable market," Masaki Iida, spokesman for Coca-Cola's Japanese unit, told AFP. He didn’t reveal the exact spirit in the drink while the recipe is a closely guarded secret.

With the launch of Lemon-Do, Coca-Cola is entering into a competitive market in Japan. There is already a range of major local companies such as Suntory, Kirin and Asahi which are selling alcoholic sodas. Canned drinks offer a cheaper alternative to beer and more choice in flavor and alcohol content, ranging from less than three percent alcohol to eight percent.

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