What is Calpico? | Japanese Soft Drink | Bokksu Market

Free shipping on orders $59+

Spend $75, get a FREE gift!

Calpico: Your Next Favorite Japanese Drink and Here's Why

by Bokksu Staff

Japan is celebrated for its wide range of unique snacks and beverages that have gained popularity over time. While some culinary creations may have only enjoyed fleeting popularity, others have endured the test of time. A notable example is Calpis, known globally as "Calpico", a non-carbonated soft drink that has carved a niche for itself with its refreshing taste and versatile appeal. Join us as we delve into the story behind this best-selling Japanese drink and discover what have made Calpico a standout in the beverage realm for more than a century.

What is Calpico? Understanding the Cultured Drink

Bottles of Calpico

Calpico is a non-carbonated Japanese soft drink, with a mildly sweet and tangy taste, evoking a blend of flavors reminiscent of yogurt, buttermilk, and milk. The main ingredients of Calpico include water, nonfat dry milk (treated with lactic acid), sugar, soy fiber, citric acid, sodium citrate, and natural and artificial flavors. However, it's the fermentation process of the lactic acid culture that plays a pivotal role in shaping Calpico's distinctive tangy flavor.

Calpico is available in two versions: the concentrated variant that requires dilution with milk or water, and the ready-to drink variant like Calpico Original. Both options are available in a variety of fruity flavors like strawberry, lemon, grapes, and melon.

Asahi Calpico: Original

Calpico, an extremely popular bottled Japanese yogurt drink, is sweet, milky, and a little bit tangy. Unlike plain milk, Calpico is light and refreshing even in the heat.

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

16.9 oz

The History of Calpico: A Century-Old Tradition

Calpico or Calpis in Japan

Over a century ago, Kauin Mishima, the founder of Calpico, travelled to Inner Mongolia for a business trip and fell ill due to exhaustion caused by his long journey. He tried the cultured milk containing lactic acid bacteria that the local nomads consumed and experienced a significant improvement in his health. Impressed by this discovery, upon his return to Japan in 1915, he dedicated his time to researching lactic acid culture and crafting a drink using it. The creation of Calpico was actually a serendipitous event. Mishima and his factory manager, Yoshizou Kataoka, unintentionally added sugar to their original product, daigoso, a cultured skim milk drink with lactic acid culture, in a test tube and left it overnight. Thus, Calpico, the first Lactic Acid drink in Japan, was born. Since its introduction in 1919, Calpico has become a beloved national beverage enjoyed by generations.

The name "Calpis" originated from combining "Calcium" with the Sanskrit word "Salpis". which denotes the fermentation of milk and the enhancement of flavor. While the beverage is widely recognized as Calpis in Japan, it was rebranded as Calpico in the US to prevent any confusion or misinterpretation among English speakers.

Calpico vs. Other Yogurt Drinks: What Sets It Apart

Calpico Concentrate

In the realm of yogurt-based beverages, Calpico shines as a distinctive choice with its unparalleled flavor profile and fermentation process. Calpico's fermentation process involves lactic acid culture, which converts lactose into lactic acid, giving the drink its tangy flavor and creamy texture. This fermentation method sets Calpico apart from other yogurt-based beverages, which may utilize different bacterial strains or fermentation techniques. Unlike many yogurt-based drinks, Calpico does not contain active or live probiotics, contributing to its longer shelf life, especially in its concentrated variant.

In terms of flavor, Calpico stands out for its mild sweetness complemented by a subtle tanginess, a departure from the stronger tangy flavors often found in traditional yogurt-based beverages. This refreshing and versatile flavor profile makes Calpico deliciously unique and appealing to a broad spectrum of taste preferences. Calpico is also available in fruity varieties like Calpico Melon, providing a refreshing choice that is perfect for hot summer days.

Asahi Calpico: Melon

Calpico, one of Japan’s more popular beverages for over 100 years, is a refreshing non-carbonated soft drink made with lactic acid. It’s lightly sweet, tangy, refreshing, and now, with the addition of real melon - fantastically fruity.

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

16.9 oz

Health Benefits of Drinking Calpico

While Calpico is not marketed as a health drink, the presence of lactic acid culture, particularly Lactobacillus Helveticus, in Calpico plays a role in maintaining the balance between good and bad bacteria in the intestines, leading to various health benefits. These benefits include promoting restful sleep, relieving constipation, lowering blood pressure, reducing fatigue, and alleviating stress. Additionally, compared to other sweetened soft drinks, this delicious drink is a healthier option as it is free of caffeine, alcohol, and gluten.

Exploring Calpico Flavors: Beyond the Original

Calpico flavors in Malaysia

One of the most popular choices among the flavors of Calpico is Calpico Strawberry, known for its delightful blend of creamy sweetness and vibrant strawberry flavor. In addition to this, Calpico offers a variety of flavors, each offering a unique and refreshing taste experience. From classic choices like Calpico Original and Calpico Melon to exotic options like Calpico Lychee and Calpico Mango, there is a Calpico flavor for every taste bud. Whether you prefer fruity, creamy, or refreshing flavors, Calpico has something to offer that will tantalize your senses and quench your thirst.

Calpico Strawberry: A Sweet Twist on a Classic

Calpico Strawberry stands out as a beloved choice among the diverse array of Calpico flavors, thanks to its enticing blend of creamy richness and fruity essence. The smooth texture of Calpico perfectly complements the sweetness of strawberries, resulting in a well-balanced flavor that appeals to a wide range of palates. Compared to the original version of Calpico, which offers a classic sweetness with subtle tangy undertones, Calpico Strawberry introduces a lively burst of fruitiness. The inclusion of strawberry juice concentrate elevates the overall taste profile, infusing the drink with a refreshing and summer appeal that sets it apart from the original. Whether you're a longtime fan or discovering Calpico for the first time, Calpico Strawberry promises a taste of summer in every sip.

Asahi Calpico: Strawberry

Strawberry Calpico may be one of the cutest beverages you’ll ever have. The opaque pink yogurt drink contains lactic acid for a touch of tang. One sip and you'll agree -- it tastes like real summer strawberries.

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

16.9 oz

Calpico White Peach: Refreshing Elegance

Calpico White Peach, a delightful twist to the classic Calpico flavor, has been gaining momentum for its refreshing taste and unique appeal. It offers a refreshing burst of flavor that captures the essence of ripe peaches, seamlessly blending with Calpico's creamy texture. While the classic Calpico flavor remains a timeless favorite, Calpico Peach has gained popularity for its fruity and lively taste. The addition of peach flavor enhances the overall appeal of Calpico, attracting both longtime fans and newcomers looking for a contemporary twist on a beloved classic.

Asahi Calpico: White Peach

Peaches will always hold a special place in the hearts of Japanese people. Take the iconic Calpico beverage ubiquitous around the country, add real peach juice and you’ve got a classic for the ages. The former brings that tang, the latter, the fruit, with sweetness from real sugar.

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

16.9 oz

How to Enjoy Calpico: Serving Suggestions

Glass of Calpico with lemon

Calpico is available in both ready-to-drink and concentrated forms, making it convenient for culinary experimentation. Here are some creative ways to serve and enjoy Calpico:

  • Chilled Straight from the Bottle: The classic way to enjoy Calpico is chilled straight from the bottle. Pour it over ice for a refreshing and thirst-quenching experience, perfect for hot summer days or as a delightful treat any time of the year.

  • Golden Ratio for Calpico Concentrate: Remember, the ideal proportion for Calpico Concentrate is 1:4. Combine one part Calpico with four parts water or milk. However, you're not limited to just water or milk for dilution; Calpico's mildly sweet and sour taste complements various other flavors, opening up endless possibilities.

  • Calpico Mocktail: Whip up a Calpico mocktail by blending Calpico with your favorite fruit juices such as orange, pineapple, or cranberry. Shake well with ice and strain into a glass for a colorful and flavorful non-alcoholic drink.

  • Calpico Cocktail: Take happy hour to the next level by combining Calpico Mango with vodka or rum for a creamy and smooth cocktail. Don't forget to garnish with fresh fruits or herbs for a visually appealing presentation.

  • Calpico Smoothie: Blend Calpico with frozen fruits like strawberries, bananas, or preaches to create a delicious and creamy smoothie. Add yogurt or coconut milk for extra creaminess and a protein boost.

Asahi Calpico: Mango

Take a trip to the tropics with your favorite Calpico drink, containing real mango. This variation of the staple non-carbonated Calpico beverage is naturally sweet and smooth, with a refreshing tang. Drink a bottle on the go or even pour over ice, but it’s best served cold.

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

16.9 oz

Incorporating Calpico into Recipes

Calpico's versatility extends beyond beverages; it can also elevate desserts and savory dishes. Its distinct flavor profile and smooth texture make it a versatile addition that brings a delicious twist to various dishes. Here are some inventive ways on how you can incorporate Calpico into your next culinary endeavors:

  • Calpico Kakigori : Add a delicious twist on the classic Japanese shaved ice dessert by using Calpico as your syrup topping. Simply drizzle Calpico Lychee and condensed milk over shaved ice and top it with fresh fruit slices for an indulgent summer treat.

  • Calpico Cheesecake: Incorporate Calpico into your cheesecake batter for a creamy and tangy twist. The subtle sweetness and tanginess of Calpico completements the decadent richness of the cheesecake, creating a delightful contrast of flavors.

  • Calpico Salad Dressing: Blend Calpico with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs to make a refreshing salad dressing. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor elevate simple salads into gourmet creations.

  • Calpcio Marinade for Seafood: Use Calpico as a marinade for seafood such as shrimp or fish. The lactic acid in Calpico tenderizes the seafood while infusing it with a subtle sweetness and tanginess.

Asahi Calpico: Lychee

Calpico is a popular and tasty yogurt drink that's taken Japan by storm. The addition of lactic acid makes this sweet drink thick and just a little bit tangy, while being wonderfully refreshing. We hope this lychee flavored drink makes you feel like you're on a tropical island vacation.

Common Allergens: Milk, Soy.

16.9 oz

Where to Find Calpico: From Supermarkets to Online Stores

Excited to sample the different flavors of Calpico but unsure where to find them? You can start your search by visiting local Asian supermarkets or grocery stores. These stores often carry a variety of Japanese beverages, including this delicious drink.

If you don't have access to a nearby Asian supermarket, there's no need to worry! Online retailers like Bokksu Market are dedicated to Japanese snacks and beverages, offering a quick shop option for Calpico. Whether you're craving the original Calpico goodness or eager to try unique variations like Calpico Strawberry or Calpico Mango, Bokksu Market has everything you need. Simply browse our Calpico Collection, add your favorites to the cart, and let us bring the deliciousness of Calpico right to your doorstep.

Why Calpico Continues to Captivate

Calpico's enduring charm goes beyond its refreshing taste. It represents a cultural connection to Japan's rich culinary heritage, capturing the essence of natural flavors while embracing innovation through its wide array of variants. From its humble beginnings to its global popularity, Calpico continues to enchant taste buds and quench thirsts worldwide. Whether enjoyed on a warm summer day or incorporated into creative culinary creations, Calpico's appeal transcends borders, making it a cherished beverage with a timeless allure.

Author Bio

What is Calpico? | Japanese Soft Drink | Bokksu Market


Shipping, Taxes, and Discounts Calculated at Checkout


Shipping, Taxes, and Discounts Calculated at Checkout

RuffRuff App RuffRuff App by Tsun