Impromptu Taste Test: The Cult of Yakult

Best described as a "melty creamsicle," but I still don't like it.


Have you ever tried Yakult? A probiotic dairy drink that comes in wee 65-milliliter plastic containers, I've only known it as "yahkuhluhteh" (essentially Yakult pronounced in Korean); that icky drink that my parents and grandparents drank but left my mouth with a strange, dry feeling whenever I took a sip.

Created in Japan, it's a staple there and in other East Asian countries. Given my childhood distaste for the drink, I thought it was time to bring it into the Serious Eats office and get a collective judgment once and for all. Is Yakult actually secretly delicious? Were my taste buds of yesteryear just incapable of dairy drink appreciation?

After tearing back the foil of a frosty Yakult straight from the fridge, I took a sip. Yakult has a very thin consistency, almost like water, and the familiar sweet, slightly fruity flavor came rushing back to me.

And then I drank a lot of water. Yakult still makes me thirsty. (By the way, I'm not lactose intolerant.) Straight to the point, Robyn said, "It's sweet. I like it." Score one for Yakult.

Erin perhaps described it best as a "melty creamsicle," and I remembered how my family would sometimes keep them in the freezer for a slushy treat on hot days. So in the end, I was still the lone holdout against the Yakult cult. Is there anyone out there on my side?

Usually available at Asian marts, here's a handy store locator to get you started on your own Yakult journey.

Serious Eats Newsletters

Keep up with our latest recipes, tips, techniques and where to eat!


Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: