Calpico in America
If you’ve read any amount of manga or have an interest in Japanese culture, you’ve likely heard of Calpis. If nothing else, it’s one of those names that are accidentally funny in English, because of the sound.
The actual beverage is a fruity, non-carbonated drink with a hint of yogurt. (It’s made through lactic acid fermentation.) It was first launched in 1919, it comes in several flavors, and it’s now more widely available in the US! It’s owned by Asahi, and they have launched an Amazon store and made the drink more available nationwide in major grocers.
The marketing company sent me a sample pack of the flavors: mango, white peach, lychee, and strawberry. (There’s also “original citrus”, but that wasn’t included.)
It’s been renamed, slightly, to Calpico (although the original name is on the cap).
I tried the two flavors that sounded most appealing, strawberry and lychee, and I liked them. It was like drinking the ghost of a milkshake, lighter but with that fruity milky flavor. I don’t know that I’d seek it out in future, just because it’s a bit heavy, but I wouldn’t avoid it, either. Come to think of it, it would make a good mid-morning drink, to hold off getting hungry before a late lunch.
Their US website has a retail locator to find the drink near you.