Sake Nation: “Seasonal Sake – Part 1: Summer Sake”

By Kosuke Kuji

Sake is representative of its brewing season, consumed seasonally when the flavor is most savory and delicious. 

Since ancient times, the Japanese custom is to savor seasonal flavors during each of the four distinct and beautiful seasons. 

This report introduces how to enjoy seasonal sake flavors during each season in four separate issues.

Japan endured a scorching hot summer that neared a boiling point this year. In the past, few sake products were released for consumption during the hot summer season. Until recently, the sake industry appeared to yield their summer business to beer products. However, a new genre of “seasonal summer sake” was developed within the last fifteen years. Summer sake is a refreshing draft sake enjoyed during the summer season with an alcohol content of 12 or 13 percent, lower than the usual sake.   

While diluted water is usually added to pressed sake to lower the alcohol content, recent advancements in brewing technology enables “undiluted sake” to be brewed with an alcohol content of 12 percent, the defining characteristic of summer sake. 
Draft sake is subtle in flavor and refreshing for the summer season. Please try this delicious summer sake if you have an opportunity to visit Japan during the hot summer season.  







#alljapannews #coldsake #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #sake #summersake


Four different types of sake

Sake consists of four different types – Aromatic Sake, Refreshing Sake, Pure Sake, and Mellow Sake. This issue introduces two of the four sake types. 

Pure Sake: Rich, Junmai sake 

Delicious season: Fall to winter 

Serving temperature: Room temperature or lukewarm 

Sake cup: Small glass  

Compatible cuisine: Combination pizza 

Mellow Sake: Golden hue, aged for a long period   

Delicious season: Winter 

Serving temperature: Room temperature or lukewarm, same as brandy  

Sake cup: Brandy glass  

Compatible cuisine: Grilled eel  

Junmai: Brewed from rice, koji mold, and water only 

Honjozo is alcohol added to Junmai sake in small quantity (10%)

Changes according to the rice polishing ratio. The regulation is abolished for Junmai sake. Polished rice shavings are discarded at the brewery’s discretion (rice shavings can be used to make rice crackers and confections).

Various kinds of sake are enjoyed according to the season and event. For example, Toso (spiced sake) is enjoyed celebrating the New Year, yukimi-zake (sake enjoyed watching the snow fall) is enjoyed during the winter, shiro-zake (amazake) is enjoyed celebrating Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Festival), etc.



醇酒 コクがある   純米酒系 

美味しい季節:秋  から冬




熟酒 黄金色がつく 古く、長期熟成タイプ 


飲む温度:常温かぬる燗程度 ブランデーと同じ感じで







#alljapannews #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #sake #seasons


Tokyo Jizake Strolling (an evening of Italian cuisine with sake)

By Ryuji Takahashi

The scorching summer heat just started to ease slightly in Tokyo, yet still too hot to change out of short sleeved shirts in early September, when the “Fourth evening of Italian cuisine and sake” was held at Italian restaurant Karibetei in the Shimokitazawa district of Setagaya ward. Reservations instantly fill to capacity for this very popular event organized once roughly every three months. Seasonal ingredients and sake are selected for each event. For this latest event, fall and summer sake selections were mixed with products available year-round and some fall ingredients to serve many delicious dishes to the guests’ hearts’ content. 

Since the summer heat was still scorching, the course served started with Chilled Peach Soup Topped with Prosciutto, Chilled Bagna Cauda Bagna Freida, and Horse Carpaccio shipped directly from Kumamoto prefecture – horse loin and mane are chewed thoroughly together the local way. Afterwards, Uni (sea urchin) and Fruit Tomato Salad concluded the first half of the course, followed by fall seasonal dishes such as Oven-baked Sarde a Beccafio, Mackerel Pike Sicilian Spaghetti, and Beef Tagliata. As we started to feel full, the meal concluded with Champagne Risotto.     

Champagne Risotto is prepared by pouring champagne with risotto lined around it in the center of a pot. The simmering champagne mixes with risotto, complete with cheese sprinkled at the end, a very interesting feast for the eyes as well.  Lastly, watermelon was served as dessert and the satisfying meal concluded with every stomach full. 

The courses were served with four sake selections from Niigata prefecture -  the well carbonated “SHUKUFUKU Yellow Label” by Sasaiwai Brewery (Niigata prefecture), summer sake “Hakuro Junmai Daiginjo” by Hakuro Brewery (Niigata prefecture), an autumn sake with a lasting aftertaste, “Hiyaoroshi Junmai Daiginjo Takarazukushi” by Kanemasu Brewery (Niigata prefecture), and “Cowboy Yamahai” by Shiokawa Sake Brewery Co. (Niigata prefecture). The four sake selections from Niigata prefecture were followed by two satisfying bottles of sake, the full-bodied and crisp “Honshu-ichi Muroka-Junmai-Ginjo” by Umeda Sake Brewery (Hiroshima prefecture), and the deeply flavorful “Akagisan Junmai Hiyaoroshi” by Kondo Shuzo Co. (Gunma prefecture), concluded with slightly sweet and fruity sake selections such as “Nagatoro Junmai Daiginjo” by Fujisaki Sobe Shoten (Saitama prefecture) and “Ichinomiya TANE Draft” by Ichinomiya Sake Brewing (Shimane prefecture), totaling eight sake selections served two bottles each, totaling sixteen sake bottles consumed in two and a half hours.  

A lot of preparation is needed for this event, but seeing satisfied participants heading home is the motivation to keep going, said Chef Karibe. Participants of various ages in their twenties to sixties attended. The speed at which the food and sake disappeared was incredible. The next event is planned around November. We look forward to seeing the smiles of many participants as they get comfortably tipsy. 


 真夏の厳しい暑さが少しだけやわらぎ始めたが、まだまだ半袖から衣替えは出来ない9月の頭に、「第四回イタリアンと日本酒の夕べ」が世田谷区下北沢のイタリア料理店かりべ亭で開催された。この企画は毎回好評で予約もあっという間に埋まる会で、だいたい3か月に1回のペースで開催されている。毎回季節の食材や酒に特化して行われるのだが、今回は秋の酒・夏の酒・通年商品を混在させ、食材も少しだけ秋を意識して、後はとにかく美味い料理を沢山食べて欲しいというコンセプトだった。まだまだ暑い日が続いていたので、料理は冷たい桃のスープ生ハム乗せから始まり、冷たいバーニャカウダのバーニャフレッダ、熊本直送の馬肉のカルパッチョはロースとたてがみを同時に口に入れてよく噛んで食べるといった熊本スタイル。その後、雲丹とフルーツトマトの冷菜と冷たい前半が終わり、オーブンで焼いた鰯のベッカフィーゴ、秋刀魚のシチリア風スパゲッティと秋の雰囲気の料理が進み、牛肉のタリアータでお腹も膨らんできたところで、締めのシャンパンリゾット。このシャンパンリゾットは鍋の中心にシャンパンを置き周りにリゾットを敷き詰め、吹き出したシャンパンがリゾットと混ざり、最後にチーズをかけて完成という見た目にも面白いリゾットである。そしてデザートにスイカを食べてお腹いっぱいで終了。そんな料理に合わせる日本酒は新潟笹祝酒造のガス感の強いスパークリング「祝吹イエローラベル多酸」、新潟の柏露酒造の夏酒、「柏露純米大吟醸生囲い」、新潟金升酒造の落ち着いた秋酒、「ひやおろし 純米大吟醸 宝づくし」、新潟塩川酒造の「願人山廃純米」と新潟が4種、広島梅田酒造場のボディ感の中にキレのある「本洲一無濾過純米吟醸」、群馬近藤酒造の味わい深い「赤城山純米ひやおろし」と飲みごたえがある2本に続き、埼玉藤崎宗兵衛商店の「長瀞蔵純米吟醸瓶火入れ」、島根県一宮酒造の「壱呑屋TANE生酒」とやや甘めでフルーティな酒の全8種類×2本の16本が2時間半でほぼ無くなってしまった。とにかく準備が大変な会なのだが、参加者が皆大満足で帰ってくれるのが、続けていける原動力になっていると苅部シェフは語る。参加者も20代から60代と幅が広い中で、あっという間に料理と酒が消えていく光景は圧巻である。次回は多分11月頃の予定だが、また沢山の参加者と笑顔と酔っ払いに期待したい。
#alljapannews #italian #italianrestaurant #japanese #japanesesake #jizake #sake #tokyo


Brewing sake in Japan 

Not limited to sake, brewing alcoholic beverages stipulated by the Liquor Tax Act in Japan requires a license. The Liquor Tax Act stipulates “Persons intending to brew alcoholic beverages must follow the necessary process stipulated by Cabinet Order to acquire a license for each type of alcoholic beverage (per each kind for alcoholic beverages of various kinds) to be brewed per each brewery.”  For example, a refined sake brewery seeking to obtain a sake brewing license must file an application with the applicable tax office superintendent listing the ① brewer’s name or business name (of a company), ② The business location of the brewery, ③ Type of alcohol to be brewed (refined sake in this case), ④ Brewing method, ⑤ Anticipated production volume to be brewed in the first year after the license is granted, etc. 

The Liquor Tax Act also stipulates the minimum volume to be brewed because the volume of alcohol anticipated to be brewed in the first year at the brewery to be licensed must surpass a certain volume for a license to be granted. For sake, the stipulated volume is 60 kl. 

Although yeast starters and fermentation-mash are not applicable as alcoholic beverages stipulated by the Liquor Tax Act, both are ingredients required to brew sake, while fermentation-mash can also be consumed as “Doburoku” (home-brewed sake) as is, for which licensing requirements were adopted to prevent illegal brewing. 

Since illegal brewing decreased significantly, the production of koji mold was omitted from the licensing requirements introduced in January 1976. A license is required to brew sake because the high liquor tax levied on sake is an important revenue for the Japanese government. If the licensing requirements are abolished, a plethora of brewers can pose challenges to securing revenue from the liquor tax. A plethora of small-scale sake brewers can especially cause confusion, the reason why a minimum volume of alcohol to be brewed is stipulated.   

The licensing requirements are also vital to uphold sake quality, health, and sanitation standards for Japanese nationals. Although the licensing requirements to brew sake were introduced in 1880, the system is maintained in the revised Liquor Tax Act to date.    

Today, sake is brewed in many countries outside of Japan, a very delightful news in the interest of popularizing sake. Sho Chiku Bai, Ozeki, Gekkeikan, etc., are brewed locally in the U.S., while Asahi Shuzo Co., Ltd. (Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture), renowned as the producer of “Dassai,” popular in Japan and overseas, released their U.S. sake brand “Dassai Blue” from their first overseas brewery in New York on September 25. The release of “Dassai Blue” could serve as another opportunity to popularize sake.      


日本酒に限らず、日本では酒税法で定められた酒類を製造するには、酒類の製造免許が必要である。酒税法では、「酒類を製造しようとする者は、政令で定める手続により、製造しようとする酒類の種類別(品目 のある種類の酒類については、品目別)に、製造場ごとに免許を受けなければならない」と定めている。たとえば、清酒(日本酒)の製造免許を受けるためには、あらかじめ、 ①製造者の氏名または名称(法人の場合)、②製造場の所在地、③製造しようとする酒類の種類(清酒)、④製造方法、⑤免許を受けた後一年間の製造見込数量、などを記載した申請書を当該税務署長に提出しなければならない。また、同酒税法では、法定製造数量を定めている。これは、免許を受けようとする製造場での一年間の製造見込数量が、一定の数量以上でないと認可されないというもので、清酒の場合は60 klである。酒母、もろみは、そのままでは酒税法上の酒類に は該当しないが、酒類製造での必須原料であるばかりでなく、とくにもろ みは、そのままの状態で「濁酒(どぶろく)」としての飲用も可能なため、 密造防止等の見地からも免許制度が採用されているという。なお、麹の製造については、密造酒が著しく減少したことを背景に、昭和51年1月 に免許制度からはずされている。 このように、酒造りが免許制になっているのは、高率の酒税が課税されている酒類が、国家財政上重要な物資であるからだ。かりに免許制度を廃止すると、製造者の乱立などによって酒税の確保に支障を来す恐れがある。 とくに、弱小の酒類製造者の乱立は混乱を招く可能性が強い。製造数量の最低限度を設けているのは、そのためである。また、酒類の品質の保持や、国民の保健衛生上の見地からも、免許制度の意義は大きいとされる。 酒類製造に対して免許制度が導入されたのは明治13年からだが、その後の酒税法改正でも制度は維持され今日に至っている。


#alljapannews #brewing #dassai #gekkeikan #japanese #japanesefood #japanesesake #ozeki #sake #shochikubai


  • ブログルメンバーの方は下記のページからログインをお願いいたします。
  • まだブログルのメンバーでない方は下記のページから登録をお願いいたします。