I count no less than 13 new chuhai releases over the summer season. We've got new options from Suntory, Kirin, Asahi, and Sapporo. Keeping track of all these is getting a bit overwhelming, especially during the summer as demand for RTDs goes through the roof. So I'm just going to combine all of them into one!
- Ice Gin (Lemon & Lime) and Ice Vodka (Grapefruit) RTDs, each 7% and 350ml. Released on July 18, so already available. These are limited editions.
- Ashita no Lemon Sour and Ashita no Ume Sour, both at 5% and 350ml. The lemon sour is a salty lemon, so if you've ever had a Nikolaschka, you know what you're in for. Coming out on September 5. These will be available year-round.
- Mogitate Shequasar. Like the rest of the Mogitate ("fresh picked") lineup, these use Citrus depressa that are juiced within 24 hours of picking. 9% and available at 350ml and 500ml sizes. Notably, this isn't a summer-only release. Available from August 8.
- Asahi Chuhai no Shunkan ("chuhai moment") autumn-only flavors, Yamanashi Pione and Japanese Pear. Both 4% and 350ml, to be released August 22 and available until around the end of October.
Chuhai King Kirin has a lot going on:
- Hon-shibori Natsukan. The Hon-shibori ("seriously squeezed") series has always prided itself on using real fruit juice and this one contains a whopping 24%. Natsukan is a Chinese citron. Summer only, 5% abv, 350ml. Released on July 18.
- Traveling Hyoketsu Peach Amore. This is supposed to be like a Bellini that you drank while in a quiet bar in Venice. At 141 yen I'm not sure that's what will happen but it's coming out on August 22, 350ml and 4% abv.
- Traveling Hyoketsu Haochi Lychee. This one is that blue drink you had while looking out at Hong Kong's nighttime urban lights. 350ml, 4%, released July 18.
- Hyoketsu Kumamoto Mikan. Kumamoto was recently hit by and earthquake so Kirin is donating 1 yen per can sold to the recovery effort. August 1, 5% abv, and available in 350ml or 500ml sizes. This is a limited release.
- Hyoketsu Strong Mix Punch. Always great to see new STRONG flavors, even limited ones. This is a mix of the company's acerola, lychee, and peach flavors. Available August 8 in 350ml and 500ml at 9% abv, only at combinis!
Getting to Sapporo:
- Lemoncello Italian Lemon Sour and Arancello Italian Blood Orange. Both 8% abv, launching September 20 in 350ml or 500ml sizes.
- Kire-t0 Lemon Sour Strong. Supposed to be super sour, with 10% real fruit juice. 9% abv and coming out August 1 in 350ml.
- Momomo Nectar Sour is a mix of both yellow and white peach flavors. 3% abv, 350ml, August 22.
Plenty of great new choices! Let me know how you like them.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.