This recipe is even better than the new McShake, with much more of that distinctive Japanese flavour. 

Just last week, McDonald’s Japan caused a stir with local sweet lovers by announcing they would be releasing their first-ever Ramune McShake.

Ramune is one of the country’s most popular carbonated drinks, sold in glass Codd bottles with a glass marble under the capPushing the marble through the top of the bottle to create fizz is one of the things that makes drinking this soda so much fun, and it’s so popular it’s even available in candy form, sold in small plastic tubes that mimic the same shape of the glass bottle.

The new McShake is said to showcase the flavour of the Morinaga candy ramune, but since its release on 20 May, reviews have commented on the fact that the flavour of ramune in the shake is sadly much weaker than expected.

Keen to see whether this really was the case, we sent our Japanese-language reporter Ayaka Idate off to McDonald’s to pick up one of the McShakes, and while she was out, she grabbed a vanilla McShake and a pack of ramune candy to set up a taste-test experiment of her own.

Once she was back in the office, she took a sip of the new Ramune McShake and let it swirl around in her mouth for a moment. The refreshing, distinctive, lemon-lime ramune flavour was definitely there, but there was something about it that wasn’t what she’d been expecting.

▼ It had the same colour as ramune, but it just seemed a little thin, as if something was missing.

It wasn’t bad at all, it was just that she really wanted more of that ramune flavour. Like any ingredient, there’s a possibility for flavours to become muted when mixed with something rich like a milkshake, and that seems to be what happened here. The tang of the ramune candy seemed to have gotten lost in amongst the thick cream.

▼ So Ayaka flipped the lid on the ramune candy she bought and decided to try making the perfect Ramune McShake.

First off, she poured hot water over 10 ramune candy pieces in order to ensure it would combine easily with the shake.

The candy pieces were quite stubborn when it came to melting, so she crushed them up with a spoon while stirring.

The candies easily melt in your mouth in no time, but as it turns out, they don’t melt as easily in hot water, so Ayaka recommends crushing them first before adding hot water. After about 15 minutes, the ramune had melted and dissolved nicely.

Ayaka poured the mix into the vanilla shake and when she took a sip, she was pleased to find that the flavour of the candy pellets hadn’t been overwhelmed by the cream.

However, it was still way too thin and weak for her liking, so she added in 10 more candy pieces, using the same dissolve-in-water technique as before.

It didn’t look much different, but now with 20 pieces of ramune candy in there, she couldn’t wait to find out if she’d hit that sweet spot for a perfect McShake.

She took a sip and…it was really ramune! When she compared it to the real Ramune McShake, the sweetness was pretty much the same, but that sharp tang of the Ramune was really pronounced, in the way she wanted it to be with the official Ramune McShake.

The only thing that was missing from her perfect homemade milkshake was the distinctive pale blue ramune hue. So if you’ve got some blue food colouring at home, you might want to try mixing that in, or you could play around with blue and green food colouring to get that perfect shade of cyan.

The official Ramune McShake is currently available at branches around Japan for a limited time, from 20 May to mid-June, retailing for 120 yen (US$1.12) for a small size and 200 yen for a medium.

Now that Ayaka knows how to make a Ramune McShake at home, though, she’ll definitely be doing it more often. All she needs now is for McDonald’s to follow in the footsteps of Burger King and offer a cook-at-home burger delivery service to truly make all her fast food dreams come true!

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