Banta Bottle is a very popular summer drink especially in India. This lemon (nimbu-pani) beverage is made locally. The unique part of the heavy glass bottle is the marble ball entrapped on top of it instead of a lid.
Banta & Ramune Drinks
The marble is sealed on top by the aerated pressure of the drink. To drink the beverage – you pop the marble down with pressure and it goes all the way down, the gas escapes and you can then drink the bottle. There is a trick to drink it at a angle to prevent the marble from falling back and blocking the bottle mouth.
Available in multiple lemon based flavours, it is delicious and refreshing, especially in hot summers. Banta drinking is a fun pastime for tired children after school or play. Since it is made locally by Banta sellers, the average cost is much cheaper than a Pepsi or Coke. Though they have been blamed sometimes for hygiene issues during preparation. Bante-wali-bottle as it popularly known, is still being gulped eagerly by Indians all around.
Similar marble stopper bottles are available by the name Ramune (Japanese Marble Drink) – a popular carbonated soft drink / beverage sold in Japan. These are also called Codd-neck bottles after their inventor, Hiram Codd. They are also made of glass and sealed with a glass marble. But the difference is a special opening device is provided with the bottle to move the marble and there are two little glass nodes inside the bottle allow the drinker to hook the marble. Also a wider variety of flavours is available.
Historical sources say that marble playing in Japan began when children began removing the marbles from the Ramune bottles to play marble-games.
The Japan version is manufactured by professional companies while the Indian Banta Bottle is made locally by small time sellers. But the rattle of the marble drink and amusement of those who see it first time is the same!