A celebration of rice, all in a Belgian chocolate drink. 

One of the great things about overseas stores having outlets in Japan is all the exclusive products they create to suit local tastes. Take Belgian chocolatier Godiva, for example. In recent years, they’ve released a matcha dessert drink and a tapioca tea for their customers in Japan, and now they’ve gone above and beyond with a new only-in-Japan offering that features the taste of sweet sake.

▼ The new beverage, which is part of the brand’s Chocolixir range, is called “Koji and White Chocolate“.

Koji is malted rice that’s used as a starter to create products like soy sauce, miso, and sake. Now, it plays a starring role in Godiva’s latest Chocolixir, in the form of amazake, a sweet, non-alcoholic sake that uses koji as its starter.

Truth be told, some people in Japan don’t like the taste of amazake, which is thicker than regular sake, and sometimes overly sweet. Our reporter Tasuku Egawa is one of those people, but when he saw how gorgeous the Godiva drink looked, he decided to find out if it might help to convert his taste buds.

▼ Takeout prices for the drink are 690 yen for a regular and 790 yen for a large, and Tasuku opted for a regular.

Checking the in-store ad for the drink, Tasuku confirmed that it was completely alcohol-free, making it suitable for customers of all ages. The ad also revealed that the topping consists of ginger powder and rice puffs, and they looked just as good in person as they did in the photo.

▼ From the side, the drink looked dazzling with its pure white appearance.

Giving the drink a good stir, Tasuku made sure everything was well mixed before taking his first trepidatious sip. To his delight, Tasuku’s taste buds didn’t recoil in horror at the taste of amazake — in fact, they could hardly taste any hint of sweet sake at all.

The main flavour that shone through was the sweetness of white chocolate, which was rich and moreish. The distinct aroma of amazake wasn’t completely eradicated in the flavour profile, but to Tasuku it seemed extremely elegant and refined, rounding out the chocolate with a delicate finish.

Despite his aversion to amazake, Tasuku fell head over heels in love with this drink. It was a great partnership between Belgian chocolate and Japanese koji, and a much better offering than the Godiva x McDonald’s pricey hot chocolate.

Photos © SoraNews24
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