Translated by Hilary Keyes
Ice Cold, Bubbly Ramune - The Taste Of Japanese Summer!
Written by Takahide Aoyagi
If you're looking for a quintessential Japanese summer drink, you can't go wrong with a bottle of faintly sweet, fizzy ramune on a hot and humid day. But how do you drink it with that glass marble inside? Well, read on to learn the trick!
Refresh Yourself on Sweaty Summer Days!
Summers in Japan are known to be sweltering, with strong UV rays and high humidity levels to contend with. Being drenched in sweat is no way to spend the day, but there are some pretty tasty ways to cool off in Japan! Many people may have tried kakigori before, but have you ever tried the summer specialty ramune?
Ramune, or Japanese lemon soda, is a clear soda that typically comes in glass bottles and, while originally only available in lemon, can be found in a great variety of flavors all across Japan. The refreshing flavor and rush of gentle bubbles that this soda is famous for is why this is the drink of Japanese summers. But just what is the difference between ramune and a standard soda? The answer isn’t the taste, but the bottle that makes this such a ubiquitously Japanese drink.
Ramune originated in England, from lemonade or lemon squash,but the evolution of the bottles in Japan since the Meiji era makes it quite the different drink altogether. As you can see from the photographs, ramune comes in a glass bottle with a slight separation between the top and bottom. There is a thick plastic top that you must pop before drinking it, which will in turn drop a glass marble down into the top half with a satisfying plop.
How Do You Drink It?! The Ramune Bottle Mystery
One of the first things that ramune drinkers will notice is that the mouth to the bottle is quickly plugged by this large glass marble whenever you tip your head back to drink. This marble is really a nuisance for first-time ramune drinkers because, no sooner do you try to take a drink, but the marble rolls into place and blocks the mouth, trapping the ramune inside!.
There’s actually a trick to drinking ramune that will stop this from happening. Want a hint? Take a close look at the top of the bottle. Have you got it?
The trick to enjoying ramune uninterrupted.
Not quite sure what I mean? The answer is to catch the marble between the small dents in the top half of the bottle. They might look too small to do the job, but these bumps are just the right size to do the job. When you’ve gotten the marble trapped, you can enjoy your ramune with ease - even if you tip the bottle all the way back to get that last, refreshing drop.
Let’s hear it for calculated balance!
That’s the great trick - just balance the marble and you’re set to drink some delicious cold ramune this summer. Share this trick with your friends, or amaze them with your skills - either way, you will get to enjoy the true beverage of Japanese summer. Grab a bottle, pop the marble, and enjoy!
Beat the heat in style with ramune this summer.