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What Is Calpico Drink? [Ingredients & Flavor]

What Is Calpico Soda

I’m curious about what Calpico soda is since I came across it online.

I did a little research and here is what I found.

So, what is Calpico soda? Calpico is a white-colored sweet milky drink made by the well-known beer brand Asahi.

But, Calpico doesn’t contain alcohol like other soft drink

It’s also technically not a soda because it isn’t fizzy and doesn’t contain bicarbonate soda, according to Wikipedia.

I wondered what it tastes like exactly and whether Calpico and Calpis are the same things.

Read on below, where I’ll explain the answers to this and more.

What flavor is Calpico?

What flavor is Calpico

Calpico has a citrus, sweet, and subtle milky flavor similar to Greek yogurt.

It’s creation was inspired by a Mongolian drink that’s made by fermenting milk ( a fantastic ingredient) with lactic acid.

It’s creator Kaiun Mishima traveled to Mongolia and wanted to make something similar in his home country of Japan. 

This cultured milk beverage is also very similar to the original drink Yakult(healthier choice), which you may try.

Yakult (yogurt flavor drink0 comes in very small bottles, about 2 inches (5 cm) in height, and contains probiotics and beneficial bacteria that are thought to be good and healthier option for gut health.

Calpico is made with the bacteria lactobacilli, according to their official website.

And lactobacilli is commonly used to make cheese and yogurt according to this article.

Harvard Medical School has said that lactobacilli have been shown in trials to reduce how long a bout of diarrhea lasts.

And is also good for constipation. 

They also say that it’s traditionally used for restoring beneficial bacteria that stave off infections in the vagina such as thrush.

Beneficial bacteria in and around the vagina can get wiped out by spermicidal creams, and birth control pills.

It’s also thought to lessen the effects on health and prevent yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infections.

But, they say that there isn’t any conclusive scientific evidence to prove that it helps.

Typically, when women use it to restore vaginal health they eat yogurt, as stated by the doctors at Healthline.

What does Calpico taste like?

What does Calpico soda taste like

Calpico tastes like a mix of watered-down milk and a subtle sweet citrus taste.

The acidity of the citrus doesn’t have much bite to it.

A good way to describe this delicious flavor, it is light, sweet, tangy, and milky perfect taste. 

It has a very unique tangy taste compared to every other refreshing soda drink, except for Yakult which is a similar kind of drink.

Technically Calpico isn’t a SODA ORIGINAL or plain soda with citrus flavor, as sodas or any alcoholic beverage contain bicarbonate of soda – also known as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda as primary ingredient.

Lately, though, soda is used in everyday language to mean a carbonated beverage that is fizzy because of CO2 gas and acid fermentation that’s added to the beverage.

And forms the bubbles that you see in sodas, which are formed as the CO2 gas separates from the liquid and escapes to the surface.

Soda which is just water and CO2 gas has a slightly bitter taste which is a result of carbonic acid that forms from the reaction of the gas and hot water.

I explained this in-depth detail in a recent article I wrote [here, link: why is soda water bitter], about why soda water is bitter.

Soda started to become widely available in about 1835, according to Sodastream

(check our my Sodastream Models ultimate guide here).

But, most of the famous sodas like Coca-Cola weren’t invented until 1886, as stated on their official website.

Calpis vs calpico

Is Calpico the same as Calpis

Calpico and Calpis are the same drink.

Asahi is the company who makes Calpico and Calpis.

But, when the drink is sold in Japan it’s called Calpis.

And when it’s sold in the USA it’s sold as the brand Calpico, according to Wikipedia

Calpico and Calpis are both sold as concentrates, and as pre-mixed with water or carbonated water.

The label on both Calpico and Calpis is very similar – with a white background and blue lettering.

In my opinion, it’s likely called Calpico and not Calpis in the USA because Calpis has the word ‘piss’ in it, which is a colloquial term for urine. 

Which consumers wouldn’t really want to associate with a drink or refreshing beverage.

Calpis ingredients

Whats in Calpico

The  Calpico ingredients (a non-carbonated Japanese soft drink) are:

As shown on an Amazon listing for the product.

The nutrients in Calpico are shown in the table below:

Nutrient Amount per 3.4 oz (100 mL) about ½ a cup
Calories (kcal) 42
Protein (g) 0.42
Sugar (g) 10.42
Carbohydrate (g) 10.42
Sodium (mg) 10

The data is provided by the US Department of Agriculture’s Research Service (USDA).

The amount of sugar found in Calpico or Japanese drink is very similar to that found in most well-known sodas like Mountain Dew, Pepsi, and Doctor Pepper according to the data provided by USDA.

And the recommended daily intake of sugar is 25g to 30g according to

Based on how much sugar is in Calpico you could health drink about 1 to 2 cups before you’ll reach the recommended daily sugar intake.

Most people eat a bit of sugar here and there throughout the day, so keep that in mind when deciding how much soda with sour taste or Calpico to drink on any given day.

How is Calpico made?

How is Calpico made

According to the official Calpico website, Calpico is made by first mixing their proprietary lactobacillus and yeast formula with nonfat milk, and then it’s fermented.

After the fermentation process sugar is added, and then it’s fermented again.

Calpico (cultured milk drink) is also sold as a concentrate, so either more water is added to the finished drink, or the finished formula is condensed by removing some of the water content.

Chopstick Chronicles set about making their own homemade recipe and found they could get a similar drink by:

  • Mixing yogurt, lemon juice, and sugar.
  • Then straining it to remove the thickness of the yogurt. 
  • And then finally add soda water at a ratio of ⅓ mixture to ⅔ soda water.

Is Calpico alcoholic?

Is Calpico alcoholic

Calpico doesn’t contain any alcohol so is not alcoholic.

Calpico (milk-based soft drink) is owned and distributed by Asahi who make the well-known beer called Asahi.

Interestingly Asahi Super Dry, one of their widely available beers is made with rice as well as the usual ingredients and fruity flavors used to make beer such as malt and hops.

Malt is a common ingredient used to make beer, and there’s also a non-alcoholic soda called malta.

Not to be confused with the island in Southern Europe.

I recently wrote an article about Malta Hatuey, a Cuban malta

It goes into detail about malt, maltas, and how malt is used in beverages and beers.

Is Calpis drink healthy?

Is Calpis drink healthy

Calpis contains a high amount of sugar and artificial flavors, so you shouldn’t drink more than a cup of it.

However, it’s made with lactobacilli which are probiotics and have been shown to be good for the digestive system, according to Harvard Medical School.

But, more than half a cup or a cup will exceed the recommended daily intake of sugar.

And leads to an increased risk of health issues like cancer, and heart disease says Harvard Medical School.

Calpico flavors

Calpico is a popular Japanese soft drink that comes in several flavors, including:

  1. Original
  2. Lychee
  3. Peach
  4. Strawberry
  5. Grape
  6. Mango
  7. Melon
  8. Kiwi
  9. Green Apple
  10. Lemon

These flavors may vary depending on the region and availability.

In Summary

Here’s a summary of the key points covered in this article:

Calpico is a drink that tastes milky, tangy, and sweet but has a very light taste.

And this Japanese probiotic beverage has a very similar taste to the drink Yakult (Mongolian beverage).

It’s made by the fermentation of milk with lactobacilli, and sugar.

Lactobacilli are known to be healthy and positive effects for digestion, and similar drinks are consumed in some cultures such as Mongolia.

Calpico and Calpis are owned and distributed by the well-known beer brand Asahi. Calpis is sold in Japan and was the original Calpico. But, in the USA Calpis is sold as Calpico.