Alright, so they’re not actually selling cow piss, but that’s what it sounds like when someone offers you some Calpis. Since they’re also responsible for Pocari Sweat, I have to believe the Japanese are the undisputed champions of unfortunate drink names. This particular vending machine is located in the Bentencho area of Shinjuku in Tokyo, but you can find them pretty much anywhere in Japan.
Calpis is made from water, nonfat dry milk and lactic acid. The unusual name reflects this: it is a combination of Calcium (Cal) and the sanskrit word “sarpis” (pis), which means “butter flavor.” In some countries, like the United States, the name was changed to Calpico for obvious reasons.
For those who want to try this stuff, but can’t find it in stores, I did a search on Amazon.com. They mostly sell the American version, but they do have a few Calpis products with the original Japanese labels…and the prices for those are ridiculous.