On October 1st, celebrate “The Drinks of the Gods” with World Sake Day. Created by the Japan Saké Brewers Association in 1978, Sake Day or “Nihonshu no Hi” marks the start of the new sake brewing season for the year.
Made primarily from rice, sake is a fermented beverage. It is brewed using a microorganism called koji along with yeast. Sake’s alcohol content varies from 13% to 16%. It takes pristine water to make sake, and brewers take advantage of the various kinds of natural water available in Japan to make only the best. There are many different varieties of sake, and it can be enjoyed either warm or chilled, depending on the season.
Many consider Sake to be a healthful alternative to other alcoholic drinks, using pure and premium all-natural ingredients that are low calorie, gluten-free and free of sulfates and tannins to entice new followers. Today, I provide a modern approach to an ancient beverage by sharing some fun Sake facts and a smooth Sake drink recipe.
One American brand that stands out is TY KU Sake. It is the fastest growing sake brand in the US (as rated by Nielsen three years in a row). This is a refined and premium sake that has been crafted in the heartland of sake, Nara, Japan.
Pair TY KU’s elite Sake with seafood or Asian/Asian fusion cuisine rather than wine. With double the flavor components of wine and none of the iron of traditional wines, which brings out the “fishy” flavor of seafood, sake possesses over 20 amino acids that help to neutralize these unpleasant flavors in seafood, as well as gamey flavors in meats.
Sake “fun facts”
· Sake is the oldest known spirit in the world, first produced in China in 4800BC. It was further developed in Japan where it was known as “The Drink of the Gods”
· Sake is one of the purest beverages with only four ingredients including: Water, Rice, Koji Mold, and Yeast
· Sake is not a rice wine, it is fermented like a beer, but meant to be enjoyed like a wine
And did you know?
- Sake is meant to be enjoyed with friends and family, tradition holds that a person must never pour their own sake
- Premium sake should be enjoyed chilled. Low-quality sake is heated to mask imperfections
TY KU Mango Coconut Martini
Courtesy of TY KU Sake
2.0 oz TY KU coconut Sake
1. oz Zyr Vodka
Blend together and enjoy!
The easiest way to say cheers in Japanese is with an enthusiastic kanpai! (sounds like ‘gahn-pie’). Kanpai translates to ’empty cup’ or ‘bottoms up’ and tradition once meant that you were expected to finish your small cup of sake (rice wine) in one go.