Snack Nation: Salt & Lime

Snack Nation: Salt & Lime

The Sekai no Kitchen Kara series comes out with another head-scratcher, this time from the family recipes of Mexico
Salt and Lime
The full-sized bottle is the first signal that this is actually quite drinkable.

Kirin's Sekai no Kitchen Kara ("From the kitchens of the world") collection aims to bring special drink recipes from around the globe into the Japanese beverage market. This is the project that brought us the short-lived Italian-based Vinegar and Milk drink -- which despite an insane name tasted like a light citrus yogurt.

Clearly bent on shocking customers into trying their concoctions, Kirin's new one hails from Mexico: Salt and Lime (or in the Japanese name "Salty Lime.") Finally the Japanese population's demand for more salt in their diet has been heard.

While salt and lime are key ingredients of everyone's favorite party-time booze The Margarita (and the matching tortilla chips), this may be the first time they are explicitly mixed into a non-alcoholic beverage. For some reason, Kirin can't make the entire thing out of lime juice, so they've mixed it with grapefruit juice.

The end result is intriguingly delicious, like a limeade for adults. The salt is subtle, beefing up the flavor without feeling like you are drinking sea water. The balance between sour, salty and sweet is near perfect, although there is a slight salt aftertaste. The overall effect is good, but it mostly makes us want to try to recreate this with fresh limes when the summer months roll around.

So again, Kirin fools us into buying a drink based on a name that puts the stranger ingredient in the primary position, while providing something that is very drinkable. It's almost as if they know we need to find odd-sounding beverages to write about on the Internet. 

W. David Marx was CNNGo's initial Tokyo City Editor. His writing has also appeared in magazines such as GQ, Brutus, Weekly Diamond, and Nylon, as well as his web joural Néojaponisme.

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