I keep things pretty serious around here, so reviews of alcoholic drinks may seem too ephemeral. But let's not forget that this is actually an incredibly depressing subject! You see, I am a deeply flawed human being. Along with billions of others, I deal with my imperfection by periodically blunting my consciousness, papering over the cracks in my own facade with a pleasant haze. In Japan, this is most often done with booze - and as perhaps the world's most consumerist society, booze comes in a dizzying and ever-changing spectrum of varieties and flavors. Won't you come with me, then, for some help in choosing how to reconcile yourself to the inherent contradictions of postmodern risk society?
Say hello to Calpis Makkori, the very idea of which is revolting. Calpis is a Gatorade-esque amino-restorative sports drink, and makkori is a milky-white Korean rice liquor, like a thicker version of sake. Makkori has made a huge play for the Japanese booze market lately, reflecting the ongoing, broad "Korean Wave" that has included an incredibly diversity of kimchee brands, bibinba fixings made fresh in every supermarket, and (let's not forget) a seemingly bottomless love of Korean pop stars and actors.
Surprisingly, once you get over the idea of drinking alcohol-laced baby formula, this becomes a cheerful suggestion that another, more harmonious world is possible. It's flat, sweet, and surprisingly fruity. Could be a good summer jam.