Ramen may have been your go-to meal during your college dorm days, or perhaps you typically hit up a local restaurant to taste the authentic dish on special occasions. Since its entry into U.S. culture in the early 1960s, ramen has quickly become a crowd favorite. But what beverages pair well with this distinctive Asian dish?
What is Ramen?
Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish comprised of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a broth, with tare seasoning, and a number of optional toppings. People can add different meats or fish, a variety of vegetables, even tofu. With all of the different possible combinations, there are so many unique versions of this delicious meal.
Ramen was brought to Japan by way of China and quickly became rather popular. The way in which noodles were soaked in an alkaline liquid to prevent their disingration in the broth was not easily replicated at home, so it was typically bought in shops on the street rather than homemade. In fact, illegal food vendors were the main source of ramen and most people got their fix from the black market. That is until Momofuku Ando created instant ramen in 1958. The chairman of Nissin Foods brought the famous Top Ramen (Cup Noodles) brand to the U.S. and it has grown into the easy staple dish we enjoy today.
What To Drink with Ramen
When pairing a beverage with this delicious and versatile meal, it’s probably best to stick with the Asian roots of the dish. Give these recipes a try next time you pick up Cup Noodles for dinner.
Baijiu Champagne Cocktail
The bubbles in this drink really complement the ramen flavors and help cleanse your pallet between each bite. It uses the traditional Chinese liquor, baijiu. This is the best selling spirit in the world, despite how rare it is in the West. Made from sorghum and jiuqu (the same fungus used in sake, miso, and soy sauce), baijui typically has 35-60% alcohol by volume. Try this thousand-year-old traditional flavor mixed with champagne for a more refreshing taste.
Either soak the sugar cube in the baijiu or mix the simple syrup with the baijiuPour the Cognac over the mixture
Top with champagne to your liking
Mizu Grapefruit Sawa
Balance out the salty ramen with this sweet and tart grapefruit beverage that is created using a classic shochu made in the traditional way. Distilled from Japanese two-rowed barley, black koji rice, and the famous waters of Black Hair Mountain, this 70 proof liquor is concentrated with a sake-like aroma and notes of banana bread and fresh grains. Building off its hints of ripe melon and vanilla custard, we’ll add some grapefruit juice and elderflower syrup to enhance the flavor profile.
Pour grapefruit juice, shochu, and Campari over a glass of ice
Top with soda water or your choice of soda
Garnish with a grapefruit slice
Old Fashioned made with Japanese Whisky
Old Fashioneds are strong drinks made with the intention of tasting the alcohol content, but complemented by the sweet flavors of orange, vanilla, and oak. When eating a bowl of hot ramen on a cool day, an Old Fashioned will also help warm your insides while cooling off your mouth in between bites. We’ll use Japanese whisky to continue with the Asian elements present in the ramen.
Chill your glass before combining sugar cube, bitters, and one bar spoon of water
Lightly mash the sugar, bitters, and watter
Drop in a large ice cube or a few smaller ones, stir for 30 seconds until chilled and diluted
Add an orange twist, if desired
If you’re looking for more delicious Asian liquors to try with your ramen or other meals, visit ChipsLiquor.com to see our selection.