What is Ramune Soda?

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: August 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Ramune soda is a carbonated soft drink that is one of the most popular drinks in Japan.

The Japanese soda can be described as a sort of carbonated lemonade with a sweet flavor, somewhat similar to Sprite. The name Ramune is pronounced “raa-moo-nay” and comes from the english word for “lemonade.” That explains its original lemon lime flavor.

Ramune soda was first introduced in Kobe, Japan 1884. It was developed by British pharmacist and entrepreneur, Alexander Cameron Sim.

Ramune soda’s popularity spread, in part, because of its refreshing nature during hot summer months.

It was also believed to be a possible prevention method for cholera, a waterborne disease, as drinking carbonated beverages was believed to be safer than plain water. Because Ramune comes in a sealed bottle, it was regarded as a better alternative to drinking possible contaminated tap water.

Ramune’s popularity has exploded and it is now a symbol of summertime and Japanese summer festivals. Ramune is the generic name for the wildly popular soda rather than a brand name itself.

Ramune is even popular outside of Japan and can be ordered online or found in grocery stores all over the world.

What’s so special about Ramune?

Ramune soda is best known for its unique bottle design.

Ramune is often sold in codd-neck bottles. Codd-neck bottles are named after their inventor, soft drink maker, Hiram Codd. This packaging method, which began in 1888, involves filling the glass bottle from the bottom and sealing it at the top with a glass marble. The pressure of the carbonation inside of the bottle is what keeps the marble in place, rather than a traditional bottle cap.

Ramune is also available in plastic bottles and aluminum cans, but the classic codd-neck bottle is still most common.

Why are there balls in ramune?

close up of ball in ramune soda bottle
Ball in Ramune soda

The ball inside of a bottle of Ramune is the glass marble that is used to seal the bottle. This is why Ramune is also known as “marble soda.”

When you open a bottle of Ramune, you get to the soda by using a small plastic device to push the marble downward into the bottle.

Thanks to the unique codd neck bottle design, the marble doesn’t actually travel to the bottom of the bottle. The unique neck design also prevents the marble from rolling into your mouth.

Once tilted, the marble can block the flow of soda out of Ramune bottle, but when poured carefully, the grooves in the neck of the bottle keep the marble in place. These grooves were added to the bottle design to make it easier for you to drink or pour straight from the bottle without the marble getting in the way.

The only way to retrieve the marble after drinking the Ramune is to smash the bottle, which is not advised.

How to open Ramune soda

Opening a bottle of Ramune can be a little tricky. You can’t simply push the marble into the bottle with your fingers. Instead, there’s a small plastic tube inside of the cap of the bottle that you can pop out, then use to push the marble into the bottle.

You press the plastic tool into the opening of the bottle and press down firmly on the marble. This process releases the carbonation in the same way that twisting a cap off of a traditional soda bottle does.

You’ll want to hold the opening tool in place over the opening of the bottle for a few seconds to make sure the tasty Ramune soda does not bubble over in the bottle. Then, you can discard the tool and enjoy your delicious drink.

Ramune that is served in a traditional codd neck bottle cannot be resealed.

What flavors does Ramune come in?

assorted flavors of ramune soda

Ramune was originally developed with a lemon lime flavor, but as its popularity rose, so did its range of flavors. Ramune now comes in a wide variety of dozens of different flavors including blueberry, melon, orange, lychee, and even teriyaki.

What is Ramune soda made of?

Ramune is made up of simple ingredients, and even uses real sugar as opposed to the popular sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. Original flavored Ramune’s ingredients, as found on a nutritional label, include:

  • Carbonated Water
  • Sugar
  • Artificial Flavor (Lemon)
  • Citric Acid

Is Ramune healthier than soda?

Because Ramune is a carbonated soft drink, you may be wondering how it stacks up, with regards to nutrition, to other sodas like its closest American comparison, Sprite.

Ramune is not healthier than other soft drinks. It falls right in line with its counterparts.

For example, one 200 mL (or 6.76 fluid ounce) bottle of original flavored Ramune contains about 80 calories and 20 grams of sugar.

In comparison, the same size of Sprite comes in at 78.86 calories and has 21.4 grams of sugar.

The nutritional facts are remarkably similar, and I am therefore unable to definitively say that a bottle of Ramune is any healthier than a bottle of any other soda.

Is Ramune alcoholic?

A popular and unconventional soda, like Ramune, raises the question of whether or not it contains any alcohol, especially with the rise in popularity of hard sodas. The answer is simple: No, Ramune soda is not an alcoholic beverage.

Ramune can be mixed with alcohol to create unique cocktails, but Ramune soda by itself is a non-alcoholic drink.

How much caffeine is in Ramune?

While you can count on Ramune to keep your refreshed with a delicious taste, you won’t be able to count on it to keep you awake and alert. Ramune does not come in caffeinated varieties. Instead, it’s a great caffeine-free alternative to other sodas, making it a better choice for even kids to enjoy.

What is Ramune candy?

ramune soda candy

Of course when there is a popular product, innovative companies look toward expansion for ways to capitalize on its success. In the case of Ramune expansion took place in the form of various flavors and also Ramune Japanese candy.

Ramune candy is a fizzy spin off of the popular soda. The candies taste like the soda flavors and are manufactured by several different candy and snack makers in Japan. Often the candies are sold in small plastic bottles that are made to replicate the popular Ramune soda bottles. The candies also fizz in your mouth the replicate the sensation of drinking the soda.

Conclusions

Ramune soda is a Japanese soft drink that has been around for over 130 years. Its unique bottle design, marble and all, is one of its key features and has helped raise Ramune’s popularity.

What started as a refreshing summertime drink (and popular method for avoiding waterborne disease) has now morphed into a household name in Japan, with availability all around the world.

Ramune is a popular as it is delicious, and as fizzy as it is fun. Its dozens of flavors are sure to keep soft drink lovers reaching for the codd necked bottle for generations to come.