Archive for the ‘milk-based’ Category

Figure 1. Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa


Suntory, a Japanese beverage company known for its gritty whiskey and premium malt beer, introduced its first “liqueur” to the domestic market on March 9th (Tuesday), 2010. Christened “Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa” (ほろよい白いサワー) (literal translation: Slightly tipsy white sour), this mildly alcoholic beverage (3.0%ABV) is advertised as “horo-amai, horo-umai” (slightly sweet, slightly delicious). It is currently being sold in supermarkets and convenience stores in 350ml recyclable aluminum cans for 141 yen (tax included). Television commercials (as seen on website) lead researchers to believe this product is marketed to melancholy women and effeminate men who wish to drink alone without the inconvenience of inebriation.


This experiment attempted to discern various aspects of Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa including aroma, flavor, color, satisfaction, vessel design and drinkability and to perhaps discover the elusive appeal of low-alcohol, fizzy, sour-milk drinks.


Materials collected for experiment included: one can of said product (see figure 1) for testing, one effeminate man as researcher, one pencil and two scraps of paper for record keeping as well as one sake cup made of faux Edo-style hand-blown glass for receptacle. The liqueur was kept in the coldest part of refrigerator (approx. 4 degrees Celsius) until just before tasting. About 30ml of liquid was poured into glass cup. Researcher wafted the emanation with his left hand breathing in twice. Notes on aroma were recorded. Product was then tasted, notes recorded, tasted again, more notes recorded, then remains were poured down drain. Can was rinsed and disposed of properly with other recyclables.


Results for Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics for Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa

Characteristic Result
Aroma First whiff was sharp and quite nearly reached a level of piney citrus not unlike that of some better-known toilet cleaners. The second, deeper inhalation brought promises of fresh cream, white cake-icing and meringue.
Flavor Subtle yet surprisingly complex. Upon first acquaintance, a striking saccharinity jarred the palate, but quickly gave way to a pleasant yoghurty twang. Aftertaste, however, left entire tongue wrecked – likened to gargling a chemical peel. Slight build-up of phlegm at back of throat, possibly caused by allergic reaction, dissipated soon after researcher drank 200ml of water.
Color One part lassi, ten parts soda.
Satisfaction Blend of chemical sweeteners annihilate potentially refreshing libation. No effect from alcohol was observed.
Vessel design White background with text and image in soothing shades of blue. A smattering of polka dots invoke the drink’s slight fizziness. Six type faces and four scripts will addle any reader long before the alcohol will.
Drinkability 2


Although intoxication is guaranteed to be averted, this experiment shows Suntory’s failure in providing a low-alcohol liquid refreshment that pleases effeminate men. Further research is necessary to conclude whether despondent females find it palatable.