Taste testing Coca-Cola’s second line of alcoholic beverages for Japan.

Though it’s got “cola” right there in the name, Coca-Cola Company is really more of an all-purpose beverage provider. In Japan, they also sell green tea, bottled water, and, in their most recent segment expansion, booze.

Following up on their successful Lemondo canned chu-hi cocktails, Coca-Cola Japan’s newest alcoholic offering is a new line of hard lemonade called Nomel’s.

Yes, we know it looks like “Nomej’s,” but that’s actually a backwards L. Adding further linguistic weirdness is that since the Japanese language lacks an L sound and can’t have syllable that end in consonants other than N, if you’re asking for a can of Nomel’s in Japanese it’s pronounced “Nomeruzu,” which sounds very similar to the word nomeru, which means “drinkable.”

As professionally produced products, it’s a given that you can drink these canned drinks but should you? To find out, we picked up all three Nomel’s flavors and handed them to our taste tester K. Masami.

Before Masami gets started, you might be wondering how Nomel’s is different from Lemondo, which is also a canned citrus cocktail. Nomel’s offers more complex flavors, with juniper berry extract and other fancy ingredients, than the simpler Lemondo, as we’ll see in Masami’s notes.

First up, in the blue can, is the Nomel’s Original, a five-percent alcohol hard lemonade made with 20-percent fruit juice. Five-percent alcohol is actually a bit on the high side for canned cocktails in Japan, where four percent is usually the standard, but the strong citrus notes here make for a smooth sipping beverage with a clear, crisp taste that has neither an unpleasant alcohol burn nor any lingering sticky syrupiness. There’s a touch of lemon zest-like bitterness, but it helps create a nice, dry finish, and unique to the Original version of Nomel’s are its summery pink grapefruit notes.

Next up: Nomel’s Sour! Sour! Sour!, in the green can. Oddly enough, despite the insistent repetition and exclamation points, the can’s Japanese text modestly describes it as “a slightly sour lemonade.” The truth lies somewhere in the middle, as this version is noticeably sourer than the Original flavor, but not punishingly so. It’s also five percent alcohol, but with 14 percent juice, and this time the guest star ingredient is yuzu flavoring and aroma, adding some of the extra refreshing tartness that’s the calling card of the Japanese citrus that’s somewhere between a lemon and lime in terms of flavor.

And last, we come to the Nomel’s Bitter sour. No, we don’t know why the S isn’t capitalized on the can. Maybe, at seven percent alcohol, the graphic designer was sampling the product while he was working. The Bitter sour also has the lowest juice content, at eight percent, but that leaves more room for the extra tonic water and other ingredients to hit you with a dry, spicy sensation, and this one ended up being Masami’s favorite of the trio.

All three versions are on sale in supermarkets and convenience stores now, identically priced at 165 yen (US$1.60).

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