Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shirakiku Ramune Drink

Distributed by:  Nishimoto Trading Co. (Product of Japan)
90 calories per bottle (6.76 oz.)

I've seen these Japanese soft drinks around and really never paid much attention to them; I kind of figured they were one of those "Japanophile" fad things.  Uwajimaya had them on sale for $1 a bottle, though, so I figured what the heck, right?  They fit the theme of the blog better than some of the
things I've reviewed.

Even before tasting any of the flavors, I have the distinct impression that the selling point is the novelty packaging and not the drink--I don't think nearly as many people would give $1-$2 for less than seven ounces of soda if it didn't come in a Codd bottle, so I'll describe and review the bottle design separately first.  The bottle is sealed with a glass marble which is held against a rubber seal by the pressure in the bottle; the 'cap' on top is actually a small plunger which you use to push down on the marble, thus releasing the pressure and dropping the marble into the specially-shaped neck.  It takes a surprising amount of force to shove the marble off of the seal, and if you stop pushing before you get it all the way down, the marble pops right back up to the top and you have to start over.  Success is rewarded with a clinking noise and a puff of fizz as the marble is forcefully ejected into the drink.  I have to admit, the marble gimmick is kind of fun, albeit in a nerdy-feeling sort of way. ^_^

Now for the actual flavors...
  • Pineapple is very sweet and the fruit flavor is subtle; I think it probably tastes more like pineapple-flavor Life Savers than actual pineapple.  :|
  • Melon is fairly refreshing; still a little bit overly sweet, but not a bad rendition of a melon flavor otherwise. :)
  • Grape is really average.  If it were poured into a glass, I don't think I could distinguish it from a store-brand grape soda.  :|
  • Lychee is definitely the best of the first four I picked; it's not as syrupy as the others, and the fruit flavor is nicely well rounded, with a slight peppery finish.  I really should find a lychee fruit to sample one of these days so I can compare, but I definitely enjoyed this one. :)
So overall, I would say that my first impression (that the marble gimmick is the selling point) seems to have held true, although some of the flavors are good enough for a re-purchase.  But hey, it wouldn't be the first time I paid extra for neat packaging.  There really is something fun about the marble-neck bottles--they made me smile every time I popped one open, and that should be worth something. ^_^

No comments:

Post a Comment