Kirin has been going global recently. In 2017, the drink maker introduced an international-themed line of drinks to their main line of chūhai (shōchū and soda) beverages, featuring flavors inspired by far flung locations such as Havana, Barcelona and Texas.

The latest in the line is inspired by sunny old England, where Kirin ventured to discover the classic “London style” taste of the “grapefruit dog.” Or, as most people know it, a salty dog.

To my knowledge, this drink isn’t actually from London and is rumored to have been invented by U.S. actor George Jessel in the 1960s. However, each can (¥152 after tax) succeeds in delivering a condensed version of the cocktail, with an alcohol content of just 3 percent.

Previous entries in this globe-trotting series have sometimes tried too hard to recreate their titular beverage, but the grapefruit dog avoids going overboard.

Mainly, this is because the grapefruit dog is basically just Kirin’s regular grapefruit chūhai with a little bit of salt added. Nothing remarkable, but a nice change of pace from the regular alcopop grind.

If you need an excuse to try it, give it a shot at your next hanami (cherry blossom-viewing) party.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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