How to open a ramune bottle
‘How to open a ramune bottle’ is a well-Googled question. If you haven’t seen a ramune bottle before, you might wonder why opening a soda bottle needs any instruction at all. But you’ll probably need some guidance if you’re a first-timer, because ramune comes in old-fashioned bottles with a marble seal.
The Japanese are very familiar with opening these much-loved bottles, but if you haven’t tried Japan’s favourite soda before, it can be mystifying. One TikToker went viral struggling to open a ramune bottle with her relatable attempts! Here we run through the steps to open a ramune bottle, which will prevent you from getting sticky fingers and dented pride.
What is ramune?
Ramune (pronounced "la-moo-nay") is an iconic Japanese carbonated soft drink. The name ‘ramune’ comes from the Japanese borrowing of the English word ‘lemonade’. It is generally considered to have been introduced by Scottish-born pharmacist Alexander Cameron Sim while he was living in the Japanese city of Kobe in 1884.
Ramune is bottled in Codd-neck bottles. And there’s a marble in there! You might be wondering: why does ramune have a marble? Well, the marble acts as a seal at the top of the bottle and this works due to the carbonated water pushing the marble up.
The original ramune flavour is a lemon-lime, bubble gummy flavour and the unique original taste is the favourite for many. But over the years, more and more ramune flavours have come onto the market. These range from fruity flavours like yuzu, lychee, strawberry and blueberry, to traditional Japanese favourites like matcha, and weird and wonderful flavours, like french fries, chilli or even clam chowder.
How to open a ramune bottle?
Open the seal and take out the opener
Opening the seal and taking out the opener sounds like it needs no instruction, but the whole process can actually be confusing if you haven’t done this before.
Start by putting your ramune bottle on a flat, stable surface like a kitchen counter or table top so that you can get a sturdy hold on the bottle. Next, remove the plastic wrapping from the bottle top and throw it in the bin. Then remove the plastic bottle cap. You can hang the bottle upside down, above your head at this point and the ramune won’t pour out (trust us…) because the marble is stopping it. Clever, eh?
The hard plastic top on the bottle will separate in two. Remove the plunger/ opener from the top by pushing it gently with your thumb, separating it from the outer ring. The plunger/opener will look like a small hat! Throw the outer ring in the recycling bin.
Put the opener back on the cap and push it down to release the marble
Put the plunger/opener on top of the marble (with the round, flat side facing up). With one hand holding the bottle firmly, put the heel of the other hand on top of the plunger (the heel of your hand has much more force than a thumb or finger). Push down on the plunger forcefully and don’t release or change the direction of the pressure until the marble pops down into the bottle. Top tip: hold the plunger against the bottle opening until all the fizz has settled. This should be around five seconds. Then remove the plunger and throw it away.
Roll the marble around the soda to create a fizz
This step is optional, but it’s fun to roll the marble around a little to create some bubbles. Not only is it fun to see more fizz, but the sound is famous too, the ‘clink’ of the marble rolling on the glass bottle. The sound is associated with fun times!
Enjoy your ramune
Did you have fun opening the bottle? Satisfying, isn’t it? Now you can enjoy your ramune soda. When drinking your ramune, hold the bottle so that the indentations in the neck of the bottle are facing down to catch the marble. The indentations don’t look deep, but they’ve been specially designed to fit the marble and prevent it from rolling further to stop the flow.
It takes some practice to work out a rhythm and knack when taking a sip and catching the marble. Although the stopper can go back into the bottle neck to stop the flow, don’t try holding the bottle over your head again…after the plunger has popped the marble out of the seal, we can’t guarantee that you won’t get a leak if you turn it upside down!
Ramune makes the perfect party drink, so at your next party or family gathering, kids and adults alike can enjoy the fun of opening the ramune bottles and trying the different flavours. Ramune is also a great accompaniment to some tasty Japanese and Korean snacks. Order some authentic ramune, stock up on snacks and enjoy!