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For Goodness: Sake 

Cocktails Anyone?
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

Consumers in North America and Europe are finally giving sake the respect and enthusiasm it richly deserves. A still beer brewed from rice, this versatile drink most closely resembles an aromatic white wine. Inexpensive examples can be enjoyed warm on their own (usually heated) or in cocktails like the Saketini, Sake Screwdriver and Sake & Tonic. "Grand cru" versions made from polished rice (junmai ginjo and the top-qualification junmai daiginjo) are best served chilled. These bottlings can be as stunning as any top-quality Sancerre or Chablis.

Eager markets have driven a doubling of sake imports from Japan over the last decade. In addition to quality and versatility, Sake drinkers have also noted that the product is made without any sulfites or other preservatives. They also appreciate its bargain pricing – good sake can be had for under ten dollars!

Sake, especially in a light style, makes a fine chilled aperitif. It is also the ultimate "food beer." Dry fruity sake partners Japanese cuisine sublimely, and marries seafood – especially the uncooked varieties – like magic. It's also just the thing with other Asian cuisines, including curries and other spicy specimens.

Enjoy some sake soon. Take advantage of all the different ways it can be served. Here are some cocktail recipes for you to guide your research!

Autumn Thunder

  • 1 oz. sake
  • ½ oz. black raspberry liqueur
  • ½ oz. Cointreau
  • ½ oz. Benedictine
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: twist of lemon and orange slice
  1. Place all ingredients in shaker and mix well.
  2. Strain into a Highball glass filled with ice.
  3. Garnish

 
Tokyo Bloody Mary

  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • Pinch of wasabi paste
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 oz. tomato juice
  • 1½ oz. sake
  • ½ oz. vodka
  • Garnish: Celery stalk
  1. Pour Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces into shaker.
  2. Add wasabi, lemon and tomato juices. Shake well.
  3. Strain into highball glass containing ice, sake and vodka.
  4. Garnish.

 
Flying Mules

  • ½ lime
  • 6 torn mint leaves
  • ½ large Thai chili
  • 1 oz. sake
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Splash of ginger ale
  • Garnish: spring of mint
  1. In a shaker, muddle lime, mint and chili.
  2. Add sake, vodka, lemon juice and ice. Shake well.
  3. Strain into highball glass containing ice.
  4. Garnish.

 
Café Seiyoken

  • ¾ oz. sake
  • ¾ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ oz. white Rum
  • ¾ oz Midori melon liqueur
  1. Combine ingredients with ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake well.
  2. Strain into Old-Fashioned glass with ice.

 

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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