Zima Pink / ジーマピンク

I don’t understand what you mean; what part of this drink looks “girly”?

Alcohol: 4.5% (16.65 ml)
Quantity: 370 ml
Sugar:  unknown, but estimated at 25 g
Calories:  unknown, but estimated at 206 kcal
Price: MSRP 247 yen (247 yen at 7-11)
Official Site: http://zima.jp/

Zima got a bad rap in America. Back in 1994, Miller launched and spent millions to get people to try this “sparkling malt beverage.” The idea was to make a drink for people who wanted to drink something alcoholic, like beer, but didn’t want to suffer from the “it feels like the yeast’s brewing inside my mouth” sensation that comes from drinking too much rich, or bad beer. And thus, Miller gave birth to Zima, the like-beer-but-totally-not-at-all-like-beer drink.

Zima eventually failed in the States, probably thanks to the merciless late night talk circuit and comedians who continually made fun of it and labeled it an unmasculine drink suited only for timid college girls too scared to drink real booze…. a stigma still applied to other RTDs like SKYY Blue and Smirnoff Ice (which partly can deflect ostracization because hard liquor is used to make them.) Despite their domestic setbacks, Millers still produces Zima for the Japanese market, although my sense is that it’s not a very popular RTD here by any means. Japan may be more welcoming of RTDs than the America, but RTDs and chuuhai are still to some degree considered ladies’ drinks. Perhaps finally realizing this, Miller has decided to go all Barbie-doll out on Zima and have released a type: Zima Pink. Zima Pink tries very hard to pull in the female drinkers with its pink artifical coloring and bonus straw + accessories attached to each bottle – a butterfly, a crown, or a heart. That’s right! You don’t have to risk breaking a nail by picking up the bottle to drink it – just use the straw and fashionable plastic nick-knack included!

I tease Zima. I don’t hate it. But I don’t exactly like it either. The reason for its unpopularity is that Zima is a very shy beverage. It doesn’t really have a unique or interesting taste. It tastes like… alcoholic sugar water with possibly the faintest trace of apples. Zima Pink tastes ever so slightly moreso, however, when I mixed up the bottle for blind taste tests, I had some initial trouble distinguishing between the two, and even after, I can’t identify any particular flavor. In a market with probably 130 to 200 drinks, “tasting like nothing” doesn’t cut it.

For the sake of completion, here’s a bottle of regular Zima from Japan.


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