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.