News & Opinion | May 29, 2018 12:02 pm

Coca-Cola Debuts Company’s First Alcoholic Beverage

The soda maker's new, low-alcohol, lemon-flavored drink debuted in Japan over the past weekend.

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Coca-cola launched sales of its first alcoholic drink. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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For the first time in the company’s 132-year history, Coca-cola will begin selling alcoholic beverages. The company’s new, fizzy, lemon-flavored drink went on sale on Monday in Japan. Two days before, hundreds of people had lined up to taste the beverage at a sampling event in Fukuoka, reports The Wall Street Journal, including some who didn’t expect to find the U.S. company experimenting with Japanese-style alcohol. Canned drinks known as chuhai have been popular in Japan for a long time, and are made by mixing a distilled, grain-based alcohol called shochu with carbonated water that includes fruit juice or other flavorings.

“I’m a bit surprised that this is a Coca-Cola brand,” Hiroshi Tsukano, a 59-year-old a financial planner told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s nice, but I would add a splash of grapefruit or more lemon to it.”

Coca-Cola’s alcoholic drink, called Lemon-Do, is available with a 3%, 5% and 7% alcohol. There is no Coke in the product. The different varieties include a salty-lemon version and another that is flavored with honey and lemon.