The Showa retro trend in Japan

In the last few years in Japan, nostalgia for the Showa Era (1926-1989) has become a growing trend, and the term "Showa retro" has become a popular buzzword.

Naturally, companies have been quick to realize the potential to cater to the trend, launching products that remind those who lived through those times of the kinds of foods, drinks and experiences they enjoyed in their youth. For example, we've seen everything from "retro" puddings to retro illustrations on cough drop tins, and apparel featuring classic anime from the 1980s.

Among "Showa retro" items, the drinks commonly served at 純喫茶 jun kissa, Japanese cafés with old-fashioned services and menus, have been particularly popular. We've already seen how ice cream floats are trending, even appearing as a motif for umbrellas, for example.

But when it comes to fizzy "retro" drinks, you can't forget the cola float. The drink, which made its debut along with soda floats in the United States over a century ago, was often on the menu at jun kissa during the Showa era and enjoyed by kids of all ages.

Nostalgic Old-Fashioned Cola Float Sour

On Tuesday, August 30th, 2022, alcoholic beverage company 合同酒精株式会社 Gōdō Shusei Co., Ltd., a member of オエノンホールディングス株式会社 Oenon Holdings, Inc. beverage company, will release the latest entry in their 昔懐かしい mukashi natsukashī (nostalgic old-fashioned) chu-hi drink series, a sour cocktail inspired by the cola float.

This canned sour cocktail, called 昔懐かしいコーラフロートサワー (mukashi natsukashī kōra furōto sawā | nostalgic old-fashioned cola float sour) is a new, grown-up twist on the beloved classic.

Cola-flavored canned sour cocktails have existed before in the Japanese market, but this one is different since it also adds the flavor of cream that comes from a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a cola float, for a totally new experience.

We were able to try it before the official release day and find out what it tasted like.

Photo by grape Japan

Along with the product name in a retro font, the words 純喫茶風 jun kissa-fū, or "jun kissa style" are printed, along with "Cola taste" in English.

Photo by grape Japan

On the back, the Japanese text describes how this drink reproduces the taste of a cola float, combining the refreshing taste of cola and the gentle flavor of ice cream.

It was delicious, blending the spice and citrus notes of cola with sweet vanilla cream and just a hint of alcohol. Indeed, it was also nostalgic, since we hadn't had a cola float for ages. The coke and cream blend really brought back memories.

Photo by grape Japan

Of course, as you can imagine, one of the recommended drinking styles is making a float with one, so we were more than happy to oblige.

Photo by grape Japan

It's not as strongly carbonated as some colas may be, so you won't get a tall layer of foam at the top, but it's still a wonderful treat, the vanilla ice cream reinforcing the delicious creaminess while you can enjoy the cola flavor too.

Whether you enjoy it in a float or simply poured into a tall glass with ice and a wedge of lemon, it's sure to please fans of cola-taste beverages.

昔懐かしいコーラフロートサワー mukashi natsukashī kōra furōto sawā costs 146 JPY plus tax and will be available wherever alcoholic beverages are sold in Japan.

If you'd like to try a nostalgic old-fashioned favorite with a slightly more mature taste, why not give it a try?

By - grape Japan editorial staff.