What is Ramune & What Does It Taste Like?

by Krystina Quintana
If you’ve ever visited a sushi joint or an Asian market, you may have seen customers drinking from a clear bottle with a marble marked Ramune and wondered, “What is Ramune?" If that's the case, you'll want to continue reading to learn about this delicious marble soda. 

What Is Ramune? 

A sign that says "ramune", which means "lemonade" in Japanese

This soda was inspired by lemonade, so it was named Ramune, which directly translates to the US summery lemon drink. While many people think of Japanese soda when they hear Ramune, it is also used to describe candy. 

Ramune Candy

Colorful ramune candies

This Japanese candy is reminiscent of the bubbly soft drink. It was created shortly after the carbonated drink. This Ramune-flavored candy from some companies even resembles the glass marble found in each soda drink. 

Ramune Soda

Ramune and marbles in a bottle

Ramune soda is specifically served in its famous bottle – which has a brightly colored plastic cap to use to help push the marble into the soda. The glass bottle also features a distinct top that holds the marble in place so it does not slide into the soda. 

History of Ramune 

Japanese Ramune has been a part of Japanese culture since 1876 when the first version of the drink was released. At first, the drink was known as Mabu Soda, which translates to "marble soda." The drink was meant to be used for medicinal purposes, as a way to prevent cholera. The original flavor of this carbonated soft drink featured a lemon-lime flavor. It wasn’t long before the codd-neck bottle and well known product among Japanese drinks became popular worldwide, leading to the famous Ramune bottle you see today. 

This Ramune drink has grown increasingly popular worldwide and has evolved into 30 flavors. A few years ago, you would have to hunt it down at Japanese restaurants and Asian markets. Now, it’s even common to see the drink at regular grocery stores in the Asian aisle. If you travel to Japan, you’ll even see this carbonated beverage at many of the Japanese summer festival events. 

Men and women enjoying ramune

How to Make Ramune

If you still can’t find Ramune soda drinks at your local grocery store, you can easily make a homemade version using a few ingredients. You'll need the following ingredients to create a fizzy drink with a Ramune flavor:

  • Carbonated water
  • Simple syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Real sugar
  • Ice

Add the sugar and lemon juice in a shaker, then mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into a glass with ice. Add the remaining ingredients into the glass and mix well. You'll have a homemade Japanese soft drink that tastes like Ramune in no time. Then, whenever friends ask, “What is Ramune?” you can whip them up a glass.  

Creating your own Ramune also has a bonus benefit, as you won't have to figure out how to open a Ramune bottle. Many people struggle with opening this soda, even after consuming it a few times.  


@bokksu One of our favorite Japanese drinks! #ramune #japanesedrinks #japan ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim


Famous Ramune Brands

Here are some famous Ramune brands that you’ll want to keep an eye out for when hunting down Ramune-flavored Japanese treats. 


Morinaga makes fun of Ramune-flavored candy sold in plastic bottles that resemble the famous glass soda bottle. This candy is created by pressing Ramune-flavored powder into marble shapes, making them a fun treat to eat. They feature a fizzy, lemon-lime flavor reminiscent of the Japanese soda.  


The Ramune candy from Kasugai is similar to the Morinaga option; it provides a delicious fizzy flavor similar to the beverage. However, there are more fruity flavors available through Kasugai. These Ramune candies also have a slightly sour, unique flavor and don't taste overly sweet. 


Fujiya creates kawaii (cute) Ramune candy in the shape of multiple Anpanman characters, a children's book and an anime series. These candies come in various fruit flavors and are geared toward children. They're known for having calcium and antioxidants from green tea. Many of the candy tubes from Fujiya also include fun stickers.

Ramune Marble

The famous Ramune marble has a purpose that not many realize or know about. It is added to the glass bottle to help keep the delicious fizziness inside the drink. Before you open the unique bottle, the marble sits at the top of the glass under a blue or green cap. 

Then, when you're ready to drink it, you'll use the provided opener for popping the marble into the bottle. With each sip, you're rewarded with an ultra-bubbly soda. Now, anytime someone asks you, “What is Ramune?" and "Why is there a marble?" you can answer confidently.

Where Can I Find Ramune?

While Ramune candy and soda are more commonly seen in grocery stores now, they may not be available in all areas. Next time you have a craving for fizzy candy, check out Bokksu. You'll find Handmade Ramune Candy, among other Japanese treats, Japanese snack foods, and goodies, like these Diamonji Ame Honpo Candies. If you’re curious about other offerings, you can purchase a themed Japanese subscription box with new and exciting treats each month. 


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Author Bio

Krystina Quintana is a 29-year-old copywriter living outside of Chicago, IL. Her passion for Asian culture began at a young age as she learned to create Asian-inspired recipes like homemade sushi with her family. This interest in Asian culture continues today with time spent in the kitchen and copywriting pursuits. Krystina has worked with customers ranging from small businesses to food Youtubers with 70,000+ subscribers. With a passion for food and travel, she seeks to help businesses bring traffic to their page by writing blog posts that are engaging, informative, and fun to read.