Some Like Their Ginger Ale Hot (Coca-Cola Hopes)

New, self-heating soft drink to be introduced in Japan this fall

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Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP / Getty Images

Cans of 'Canada Dry Hot Ginger Ale' produced by the Coca-Cola Company Japan Business Unit, are displayed at a media briefing to announce the company's new product in Tokyo on September 4, 2013. Coca-Cola system announced that it will launch hot carbonated beverage 'Canada Dry Hot Ginger Ale' from October 21, in 180ml cans.

With fall around the corner, time is nigh for rust-colored leaves, carved pumpkins and — what else? — steaming hot ginger-flavored soda out of a can. This season, Coca-Cola is introducing the new product in vending machines all over Japan.

The cans will be fitted with a button, which, when pushed,  will cause water and calcium oxide to mix in an outer chamber of the can, leading to an exothermic reaction (in the words of manufacturers Hot Can Inc.). That will heat whatever liquid is contained in the can’s core, while a polypropylene outer shell protects the consumer from burns. The technology has been in use in Asia for five years already, and was introduced in the U.S. in 2012.

Reportedly, Coca-Cola has been working for four years to find a way to keep the ginger ale carbonated through the heating process. You might ask why, seeing as drinking something that’s both hot and fizzy sounds very counterintuitive.

Along the way, Coca-Cola has also tweaked the recipe with a splash of apple and cinnamon ahead of the October 21 launch. A fall sensation? For 120 Japanese yen ($1.20), you can find out for yourself.