240 mL bottle
3.21 g sugar / oz.
Calpis was invented by businessman Kaiun Mishima and first sold in Japan on July 7, 1919. The unusual name of the drink is a combination of calcium and "salpis", a sanskrit word referencing the "five flavors" of Buddhism or the ripening and fermenting of milk and refinement of flavor. Indeed it is a yogurt-like fermentation of milk by lacto bacteria that gives this drink its sour taste.
Mr. Mishima had visited Inner Mongolia on a business trip in 1904 and found the local fermented mare's milk (a popular Mongolian summertime drink known as airag) to be beneficial to his health as well as delicious. Returning home he experimented to discover a practical way to manufacture a similar fermented milk drink sweetened with sugar.
Since the 1950s the drink's packaging has featured polka dots (originally white on a blue background) in reference to the stars of the Milky Way. Calpis is sold in the U.S. as Calpico to avoid the unappealing meaning of the name in English.
Calpis is available as a concentrate meant to be diluted with water or milk. A ready-to-drink carbonated version was introduced in 1973 and is now available in other fruit flavors.
In 2012 the brewing giant Asahi purchased the Calpis brand, becoming the third-largest maker of non-alcoholic drinks in Japan.
A sweet and lightly milky beverage. This one is a strawberry flavor, but its mostly a strawberry smell, and the flavor is more citrusy. Its a lot like the lightly lemon flavored Bikkle. There's a gentle hint of sour yogurt flavor, but mostly just sweet. A little thicker in texture than a soda, though not so thick as a shake or frappe.
I'm a little disappointed in the taste because its not very interesting or satisfying. Just kind of sweet and boring. Some carbonation would make this drink more interesting. They do offer a carbonated version of Calpis, so I think I'll stick with that one.
Water, sugar, nonfat dry milk (treated with a lactic acid culture), lactic acid, soy fiber, strawberry juice concentrate, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, sodium citrate, FD&C Red #40.
Asahi Soft Drinks Co. Ltd.
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