A hearty bowl of Ramen with good company is a real joy and you’ll want to take your time with your meal.
The right beverages warm, or cold will make all the difference in helping your meal go down the right way and can really complement the flavors or calm the heat of a particularly hot and spicy bowl.
Wine, sake, and beer are the most popular beverages to accompany a bowl of Ramen, but what if you’ve got kids driving duties or frankly teetotalling?
If you’re fresh out of ideas for non-alcoholic beverages to go with your Ramen, you’ll be pleased to know that there actually many delicious Japanese beverages that will work with a bowl of noodles.
Let us help you, by suggesting some great pairings of authentically Japanese beverages that will complement a delicious bowl of Ramen.
Read on to find out the best non-alcoholic drink to have with Ramen noodles, along with nine other refreshing Japanese beverage pairings that you’ll definitely want to try!
Table of Contents
Best Non-Alcoholic Drink to Have With Ramen Noodles
These classic Japanese beverages make ideal pairings for the major types of Ramen, including:
- Miso (味噌)
- Shōyu (醤油)
- Karē (カレー)
Getting it right can be a bit of trial and error, but these drinks should be well-received by everyone.
1. Green tea
You can’t make a mistake by opting for the traditional Japanese beverage of simple green tea.
Not only is it refreshing, but it is also antioxidant-rich and easy to digest.
This classic beverage is actually not native to Japan but is said to have been introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks, who brought green tea seeds in the early 9th century.
The seeds then flourished In Uji (between Nara and Kyoto), which is now famed as the birthplace of green tea in Japan.
You can choose from over 20 varieties of green tea.
In Particular – Genmaicha, or “brown rice tea” combines the green tea leaves with roasted, popped brown rice for a strong flavor that will complement your Ramen.
2. Black oolong tea
Oolong or Chinese tea is consumed throughout Japan and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
It varies in strength and bitterness, but generally complements a meal of Ramen well.
It is particularly favored for serving with tonkotsu Ramen as it is thought to aid digestion of the rich and fatty pork broth.
3. Aloe Beverages
If your Ramen is particularly hot and spicy, you may want to ease the burn with the cooling and soothing of aloe vera beverages.
Aloe is widely cultivated in Japan, where is considered a key to longevity.
These are incredibly popular in Japan and have aloe vera juice and pieces of aloe vera pulp for added health benefits.
There are innumerable flavors including coconut and blend with other pulped fruits.
You may raise some eyebrows trying to drink this beverage from the bottle but this citrus carbonated soda is incredibly refreshing.
Ramune is a popular Japanese beverage, and is enjoyed during the summer months and at festivals.
Strangely this drink was introduced to Japan by a Scottish chemist who originally created it as a treatment for cholera.
Keep In Mind – If you want to cool down quickly, Ramune may be an awkward choice of drink. It comes in an unusual bottle that has a marble within its narrow neck that you have to push in to drink!
5. Pocari Sweat
The name is hardly appetizing, but this non-carbonated beverage is a sports drink that is very hydrating.
If you’re sitting in front of a steaming bowl of Ramen on a hot and humid Tokyo summer night, you may all be glad of this isotonic beverage to replace the electrolytes you are losing while you “sweat”!
6. Melon Soda
This delightful soda drink is green melon-flavored and is popular amongst Japanese young people.
If you’re eating your meal as a family with children, you will find this sweet drink served at family-friendly restaurants.
Why not round off a satisfying meal of Ramen by cooling off with a melon soda float with a dollop of vanilla ice cream?
Calpis is a non-carbonated, lactic acid fermented dilute milk drink that is based on a similar beverage from ancient Mongolia.
It has been popular in Japan since the early 1920s and is currently produced by Asahi. It has a dilute yogurt taste with a similar tang.
8. Sour plum tea
If your side of pickled plums is not enough, you enjoy sipping on dried powered pickled plum (ume) tea.
Popular varieties include seaweed for a unique flavor. Sour plum tea also supports digestion and may even be used as a seasoning rub.
9. Soy Milk
Soy milk is a byproduct of tofu production that has found favor as a cold milky beverage!
It’s used as a dairy alternative and comes in a variety of flavors just like milkshakes.
You can take soy milk hot or cold after you Ramen with banana, matcha, or even pudding flavors being extremely popular amongst the Japanese.
10. Barley Tea
Barley tea or mugi-cha (麦茶; むぎちゃ) is a choice beverage for serving alongside your Ramen as it helps digest a hearty meal.
This tea, made from infused roasted barley grains is drunk hot or cold. It’s popular in Japan and Korea, with many household drinking it in place of water.
The roast barley grains come in tea bags which are then brewed in hot water. A great choice for a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage.
It’s good to know that alcoholic drinks like beer, sake, chuhai, and plum wine aren’t having all the fun when it comes to a Ramen meal!
Japan has some amazing non-alcoholic drinks that make a real treat when enjoying a meal of Ramen with friends.
Some are so unusual, that they are well worth trying on their own for their unique flavor and texture.
Sip one of these excellent choices and remember to let your host fill your glass!
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