I Buy Pretty Things #006 – Ramuné

When transferring old posts over from my original blog, I found that I either miscounted or my blog ate the post. I never bought a fifth pretty thing. For shame!

But haven’t you heard designers can’t count? I was told there would be no math.

The good news is that I do in fact, have a pretty thing to share with you. Have you ever heard of Ramuné? It’s the most interactive drink experience you’ll ever have. I think.

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Ramuné. This Japanese soda drink and Pocky were my first introductions to Japanese culture outside of knowing that Sailor Moon was an anime and playing Pokémon well into adulthood (sorry not sorry). I had a friend in high school that explained this drink to me and I looked at him with my head cocked to the side. What does popping a little ball into a drink have to do with anything?

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The bottle looks kind of strange if you don’t know the end result of opening the bottle – which is the little ball I mentioned earlier. The little pinch in the middle holds a small glass ball that is the equivalent of a pop-tab on a soda can. The top of the bottle (underneath that white instructional wrapper) is a little plastic plunger that you use to open the soda. Are you still with me?

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Here’s a close up of the top of the top of the bottle. So basically that little plastic piece is called a “plunger” and you press down on it really hard to release the little glass ball, which releases the carbonation in the drink and the ball rests in the pinch.

I know there’s probably a way to get the ball out, but the blue lid piece of the bottle is not easy to get off without a tool of somesort. But that’s not the point – yeah the ball jingles around in the bottle while you drink the soda, but that adds to the fun! The lid of the bottle is too small the ball to get out anyway, so it’s not like you’ll choke on it.

Part of the point of drinking Ramuné is for the experience of opening the bottle. The little pop of the ball release and fizz of the soda is really satisfying. There’s not a ton of soda in the bottle due to it’s general size and the loss of volume thanks to the pinch, but then you shouldn’t be drinking a ton of soda anyway, right?

There are so many different kinds of Ramuné, between different flavors and different brands, but this seems to be the dominant brand on the East coast of the world.

But wait – can’t we see the ball?

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(Thank you husband, for being my hand model)

So. Satisfying. And I’m a little jealous cause he got to open both of the bottles. That’s okay though, I’m not bitter. At all.

In this respect – form follows function, which is why I love these so much. While they aren’t new anymore, they’re still an exciting drink and something that one could consider when redesigning a soda can or bottle – a consumer will absolutely buy something for the novelty of it. That’s purely why I buy these. The soda tastes fine (but my husband will argue that it’s delicious), but the act of opening the bottle makes it all worth it.

If you have a chinese supermarket near you, these will probably be there somewhere. I actually found these low down on the shelves in the asian foods section of stop and shop and blew the cashier’s mind. “Wait, they sell these here? I love these things!” If you can’t find it in either of those places, check your local comic book/board game store. This is a popular nerd drink, so if those store sell food or drinks there’s a good chance they have these too.

Comment with your favorite flavor of Ramuné, or your first experience opening one!

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