During a recent trip to the Metroplex to visit Nana, my local guide — when visiting foreign lands it’s best to acquire the services of a local guide — introduced me to Ramune soda.
An Engrish version of “lemonade” original-flavour Ramune is a light citrus-y drink that is rather good, actually.
What is absolutely charming about Ramune is that it is packaged in Codd bottles.
In 1872, London engineer Hiram Codd patented a unique and fairly radical way to bottle pressurized liquids.
To fill a Codd bottle, you first introduce a polished glass marble into the bottle itself. A rubber gasket (plastic today) containing a hole somewhat smaller than the diametre of the marble is fitted into the mouth of the bottle.
The bottle is then inverted, and your beverage of choice is squirted into the bottle, followed by a stiff shot of carbonation. Gravity pulls the marble down towards the gasket, where the pressurization forces the marble into the gasket hole, producing a wonderful seal.
A secondary lid (to prevent accidental decanting of the drink — and, coincidentally enough, preventing contamination of the drinking surface of the bottle) containing an opening device is then fitted over the marble and gasket.
To open, one removes the secondary lid, exposing the marble and what looks for all the world like a hyper-steroidal thumbtack. The lid is thrown away, and the stem of the “thumbtack” is placed upon the marble, followed by a firm push — or good whack — with the palm of the hand, forcing the marble back down into the bottle and allowing the drink to be consumed.
I had no idea that the Codd bottles of the Victorian Age were still being used.
Absolutely charming — and not a bad drink, either.