Cream Soda is melon-flavored soda with ice cream on top, and it is a popular soft drink at Japanese “Kissaten” cafes (not cafes like Starbucks), which serve Spaghetti Neapolitan and Hot Cakes along with coffee and other drinks. Cream Soda is loved among kids for its sweet taste, but adults can enjoy it too, of course. People who know Kissaten culture will love to try this nostalgic soft drink again.
Melon flavor has been loved in Japan for many years. While we don’t see that kind of popularity in melon flavors in the US, there are a lot of commercial snacks flavored with this fruit around. For example, we had (or still have?) melon milk shakes at Japanese McDonald every year. It’s a limited-time only item, so people got crazy about it every time it came back. Melon was the most expensive fruit (still true for some kind of melons) in Japan for a long time. It was expensive, and most of the people couldn’t have it except on rare occasions. A lot of snack and sweets companies may have developed melon flavored products so that people were able to enjoy the taste of melon instead of paying $100 for the fruit itself.
Cream Soda was very popular by the 70s in Japan, and it was probably coming from a western country like America. It’s certainly similar to an American root beer or cola ice cream float, but it’s not clear why or who came up with the melon flavored soda instead of root beer. However, today it’s become the most important component in Japanese Cream Soda. It is extremely easy to make this drink at home, if you can find melon syrup. It is the same syrup used in Kakigori shaved ice (we have a Kakigori recipe, but used Matcha syrup). If you are lucky enough to be near Japanese markets, great, but if you’re not, you may be able to buy it online.
- 2-3 Tbsp melon syrup (for shaved ice)
- 1 cup (240ml) soda water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
- In a glass, mix melon syrup,soda, and lemon juice. Add ice to the top.
- Put a scoop of ice cream on top.