Have you ever had Ramune before?
Ramune is a carbonated beverage in a glass bottle capped with a marble. It is a very popular drink in Japan during the hot summer season. Many people enjoy it on a variety of occasions, such as summer festivals 夏祭り and while enjoying the evening breeze 夕涼み.
Ramune was first introduced to Japan as lemonade in 1853. When Commodore Perry arrived in Uraga from the United States, he served lemonade to Edo Shogunate officials who were negotiating on board the ship.
When the cork was opened, there was a loud popping sound and bubbles came out. The Edo Shogunate officials were startled, and they all put their hands on the hilts of their swords. I find the story fascinating because it reflects the era of Japan’s opening to the outside world.
Today’s Ramune is soda-flavored rather than lemonade-flavored. The flavour is difficult to describe, but I would say it tastes like bubble gum.
Ramune has recently gained popularity outside of Japan as well. I've seen them in many Asian supermarkets overseas. If you come across one, please give it a try!