Dumpling-Flavored Soda – Probably Japan’s Worst-Tasting Soft Drink

A Japanese beverage company launched a controversial dumpling-flavored soda that many are calling the worst soft drink ever created.

Gyoza traditional pan-fried dumplings are a staple of Japanese cuisine, but they are also the inspiration for one of the world’s most bizarre refreshments. “Gyoza cider”, or “Gyoza soda”, as some Japanese news outlets have been calling this abomination, is the creation of Nagai Garden, a refreshments company based in the city of Nikko, Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture. Originally launched in 2019, gyoza cider has been making news headlines and going viral on social media ever since, due to its unusually faithful dumpling taste.

Photo: J-Town

Upon opening a bottle of gyoza cider, you are reportedly hit by a unique smell that has been described as a mix of chili oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. The smell is so strong that a representative of Nagai Garden recently told Japanese news website J-Town that he advises people to open the bottle outdoors.

Apparently, the makers of this crazy concoction never had deliciousness in mind when working on it. They just wanted to reproduce the taste and smell of gyoza as faithfully as possible and make people curious enough to try it. Their plan worked, as in the three years that it’s been on the market, Gyoza cider has become somewhat of a cult hit, a challenge, or a dare among friends.

The guys at RocketNews24 gave it a try soon after it had launched, and named it the worst soda they’d ever tasted, comparing its flavor to the smell of an old man’s breath. Now there’s some great marketing for ya…

“It was sweet at first, then the garlic and ginger taste of the dumplings hit my throat all at once,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Photo: J-Town

“I drank it after a meal and then vomited,” someone else commented.

Apparently, the taste of this bizarre fizzy drink is beyond bad, and most of those who have tried it only recommend it as a cruel dare, or as a way to show off one’s strong stomach. You have to admit, dumplings in liquid, carbonated form do sound kind of gross.


Sadly, Gyoza soda is currently only available in Japan, but you can sometimes find it on online Japanese import shops, although it’s mostly listed as ‘out of stock’.