Japanese soft drinks: rice-based soda

Summer is the season for new Japanese soft drinks, with quite a few seemingly just spit-balling, such as the eel-based soda from a few years ago. Today I give you 三代目米づくり (Sandaime-komezukuri, roughly, “third-generation rice cultivation”). As the name indicates, it’s a rice-based carbonated beverage produced by Japan Tobacco, which makes a surprising number of drinks for a tobacco company. In addition to saccharified rice flour, it’s made with sweetened condensed milk, giving it a flavor similar to Calpis, which to me tastes like crushed-up Smarties melted in water. Take that as you will.