Japanese Soft Drinks: From Ramune to Yakult
In Japanese convenient stores and vending machines, there are various amazing soft drinks with numerous flavors. Most drink brands will present new flavors and new packages regularly, some of which are time-limited offers. From carbonated drinks to lactic acid drinks and from coffee to green tea, the last thing you should worry about in Japan is that you can’t find a delicious drink. Here are four drinks you should never miss!
Ramune, Japan’s national soft drink, is one of the most popular drinks in Japan. Though it has become an iconic Japanese soft drink, it was created by Alexander Cameron Sim, a Scottish-born pharmacist. In 1884, Sim introduced Ramune to the Kobe foreign settlement and advertised it as a drink to prevent cholera. The word “Ramune” is from the “lemonade”, which was the original flavor. However, nowadays, its flavors are not limited to lemon. There are fruity flavors, such as strawberry, peach, pineapple, and orange, and other “creative” flavors, such as wasabi, sakura, curry, and kimchi.
What makes Ramune so unique is its retro-style bottles. Ramune is filled in codd-neck bottles designed by Hiram Codd. It is a glass bottle sealed with a glass marble that sits within a recess in the lip. When you press the marble, it will fall and trap in the bottle’s tapered neck. The clinking sound of the marble hitting the bottle will remind every Japanese of summer because it is a popular drink among children in summer and is often sold in the stalls in Japanese summer festivals.
For people living outside Japan, Calpico may be a name more familiar. Calpico is the same product as Calpis. Calpis was invented in 1919 and was inspired by a Mongolian fermented horse milk drink. It was Japan’s first lactic acid drink. Made of water, milk, and lactic acid, it tastes milky, fruity, and slightly acidic aroma. The fresh and light flavor makes this creamy and non-carbonated drink a perfect match with almost anything you like, such as alcohol, ice cream, soda, and lemonade.
Don’t be fooled by this name that seems a little disgusting. As a sports drink, Pocari Sweat was designed to supply the electrolytes and nutrients that are lost after sweating. It's the most popular sports drink in Japan. Pocari Sweat is a non-carbonated drink with a mild salty and sweet flavor. Some people say that it tastes like grapefruit. It’s a refreshing drink to drink on hot days or after intense physical activities.
Yakult is Japan’s most successful probiotic milk beverage. It’s so popular that not many people even notice that it’s a Japanese brand. It’s now selling in more than forty countries. Fermented with Lactobacillus casei strain shirota, Yakult is milky and mildly sweet with a little aroma of citrus.
Here is a brief introduction to Japanese soft drinks. These fruity and fresh drinks can always help to elevate your mood! However, if you are an adult that wants to try something tangier, Japanese alcohol also deserves a try. Click the following lines to learn more about Sake, Beer, and Whisky!