Thursday, December 17, 2009
Kirin Diabolo Ginger Soda
I have a feeling that a lot of the soft drink industry in Japan is driven by the desire of alcoholic beverage makers to make mixers. Very often when I try something off the beaten path, that means non-cola-based, it is too strong and seems designed to be diluted with something.
I picked up this Diabolo Ginger because the name sounded demonic. I didn't realize that this is actually pretty far away from anything sinister. It's rather sophisticated as the ginger preparation method and origin is in Provence, France (ginger diavolo). This beverage is part of Kirin's "kitchens of the world" promotion. As part of the method for this type of drink in France, sugar is boiled with ginger and honey-pickled lemon. Cinnamon and lemongrass are also used as part of the preparation.
In Japan, the preparation appears to be rather different. They use grapefruit juice and marigold. There is no cinnamon and the lemon has no honey notes. The grapefruit seems to accentuate the ginger flavor a lot. It's extremely strong. It reminds me of the smell I get when I grate fresh ginger root and the juice runs off. It's far too intense to be drunk straight.
The bottle contains 410 ml. of soda and was 147 yen at an AM/PM convenience store. It has plenty of sugar in it. The entire bottle will set you back 148 calories, not that I think most sober people can drink it all at one go. I couldn't get a decent shot of the drink poured into a glass, but it's nothing exciting. It is just cloudy, white liquid which looks like washed out lemonade.
I wouldn't buy this again because it is just too strong and not worth the calories or the cost. It's not that it's bad, really, it just feels a lot like drinking medicine at its current intensity.