Are there Sparkling Sake?
Oh yes, friends. Quite a few.
Last month SAKE SECRET Subscribers already "got a taste" of Sparkling Sake in my free monthly newsletter, with a Sake cocktail recipe for a "Japanese 57" using Japanese Sparkling Sake.
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For the cocktail, I actually chose one called Mio, made by Sho Chiku Bai. Mio is popular because it is inexpensive, widely available, and tastes like Zima. It also has no added sugar. Because Sake is fermented - similar beer - CO2 is a natural by-product, making it relatively simple to produce Sparkling Sake.
But producing a Sparkling Sake that tastes great, balances carbonation, sweetness, Umami, and acidity, and has the elegance of Champagne? That can get tricky.
Like Mio, there are several other tasty, inexpensive brands available, even in America. Many come in small bottles and contain the word "AWA" (pronounced "Ah wha--") meaning "bubbles", such as Hana Awaka, and Awa Yuki. These are what you reach for when making a cocktail or throwing a pool party.
Why Spend More?
Those mass-produced options are tasty, the way many things made with quality ingredients are tasty, like organic granola, or street tacos. Then you have more premium options. Sparkling Sake like Mizubasho Pure, pictured above, and "Awa" made by famous brewers Hakkaisan, or Nanbu Bijin are absolutely elegant, refined, and best enjoyed cold and served in a Champagne (aka "toasting") flute.
Just like other bubbly, some are dry, sweet, or somewhere in-between. Some have crisp, smooth mouth-feel, and others are powdery, or chewy. Which is better? That comes down to personal preference.
Sparkling Sake Versus Sparkling Wine
One can simply choose to reach for Sparkling Sake for the Japanese flair, to match the occasion or theme, variety, or simple exploration. But a major component Sparkling Sake share that all wine lack in Umami. This aspect of the rice, present in some more than others, will pair with savory hor d'oeuvres, especially raw sea food like Oysters and Uni in a way that cleanses your palate without detracting from savory flavors. It can also contrast and add to depth to either sweet or savory gourmet ice cream!
Can't wait to learn more? Or want to skip the learning and start tasting Sparkling Sake? SAKE SECRET can help:
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