There’s nothing I enjoy more than when customers pronounce Pinot Noir [pee-not no-ear], chipotle [chip-pot-ool] or Tempranillo [temp-rah-nillll-low]. (if this confuses you, click the words for general enlightenment.)
Word of the day!
Saké ! or 酒? [Sah-kay] ?
Such a happy little sake! Them sake eyes… How can you resist!?
Okay, I might fall in the realm of customers on this one, but I have tried my best to decipher and learn enough to share some interesting fun facts, cocktails and bars!
Ask for sake anywhere, and you’ll get sake, ask for sake in Japan, and you’ll get anything. Sake is in fact just a japanese word for ‘alcohol’, so if you want the specific liquid goodness I’ll be referring to, they say nihonshu – which means ‘Japanese alcohol’. Interesting fact, but this blogs focus is slowly seeming like a language lesson, so lets digress…to maths.
Polishing is the process whereby they mill the rice grain to reveal its starchy core. The more the grain has been polished, theoretically the better the sake! Most sakes are polished between 50-70%, in easier words: If it says 60%, than means 40% of the kernel was polished away leaving only 60%
Junmai type = Less Polishing (70%) = Richer & Deeper Flavour
Ginjo type = More Polishing (50%) = Cleaner & Aromatic Flavour
*Although Junmai is associated with less polishing, it also refers to pure rice/no additive sake. So you can also have Junmai Ginjo, which means higher polished pure rice sake… I won’t lie, I’m just as confused as you are.
Just like wine, there is a plethora of types of sake! Ones which you should stay away from reffered to as table sake (Futsushu) where the rice polishing can be as low as 93%… to Daiginjo/Junmai Daiginjo which is super premium sake.
If the above didn’t lose you and want to read more, click here for a full 101 on Sake.
Now that the English and Mathematics is out of the way, lets get to the fun bits!
My all time favourite sake cocktails
Not quite sake but still delicious
MY wish list
closing words on sake
Sake, I feel, doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Kind of like soup, always underrated, but never disappointing. I tried to point out the versatility and quality of sake to my friend the other day who didn’t seem sold. That or he was just tired from the gym. Naturally, I grabbed his protein shake and turned it into a sake cocktail to prove a point:
After he got over the fact I used ice cream to garnish his protein shake (it was Skinny Cow, which is diet ice cream… I may of pretended it was sugar free… but really… come on…) he tasted it and was super surprised at it’s deliciousness. Sake and chocolate go together like bacon and eggs, or popcorn and butter, or cereal and baileys.
Long story short, go to your local bottle shop and start experimenting! This stuffs going to be the new Gin in your tonic, and for anyone who can post a good sake sangria recipe – I’ll be giving out stickers.