b'S P I R I T SS A K ER ice has always been a very important part of Japanese culture, datingbackseeminglytothedawnoftime.Itisofcoursea staple food, has even been used as currency and, importantly for us, crucial to the production of sake. Legends regarding thenotably the three steptaken in the West to mean a genesis of sake are varied,additiona starter mashJapanese alcoholic beverage with some suggestingknown as moto (root) orfermented from rice. Nihon-that rice brewing beganshubo (mother of sake) wasshu is the word in Japanese in China. Others, that itused and brewers finallythat distinguishes it from was the rise of we t ricemanaged to isolate koji- other beverages and is the cultivation in 3rd Centurykin for the first time givingreal word for what we know Japan (the Yayoi Era) thatthem greater control andas Sake.However, to add gave rise to moulds, whichconsistency.to the confusion, filtered or subsequently paved the wayclear sake is correctly known for fermentation. However;as Seishu whilst cloudy what is known is thatJumping forward a fewsake is known as Nigori-around 300BC kuchikaminohundred years saw a needshu. But in the West, it will sake (chewed sake) wasto increase productionforever be known as Sake.made by people chewingdramatically during the rice and spitting it intoSecond World War. This wasJapanese Law defines shu collective containers. Noteffected by the addition ofor sake as, made from rice, particularly appetizing Impure alcohol and glucoserice koji and water using sure youll agree, but it hadto the mash resulting in afermentation and filtrationto start somewhere. Thethreefold increase. Today,processes.enzymes from the salivamuch sake is still made saccharified the starch andthis way most and small the repulsive concoctionbreweries throughout Japan. how IS SAKE made?was then fermented. Happily, koji-kin (the mouldTraditionally, sake is Aspergillus oryzae) wasWHAT IS SAKE? produced duringthesubsequently discoveredwinter, with premium and its enzymes effectedFirstly; sake is not a ricesakes only made between the conversion of starch towine, as this would implyDecember and March. sugar in an altogether farthe fermentation of fruitThanks to advancements more appealing manner.sugars. It is really a sortin brewery technology it is Rice inoculated with koji-kinof strong Japanese ricenow possible to produce becomes kome-koji (maltbeer with an alcohol bysake throughout the year rice); the only differencevolume as high as 20%.but premium sakes are between this process andHaving concluded that it isstill only made during the the conversion of barleynot a wine it is, however,coldest months. The type to malted barley is thatimmediately noticeableof rice used is vital to the with barley the necessarythat the complexity andquality of the final product. enzymes are naturallyrange of aromas, flavours,Examples of superior sake already present.fragrances, characters andrice grains include:styles found in sake are more reminiscent of wineYamada-nishki, Further improvementsthan beer. Sake literallyNihon-bar and Miyama-came between 800AD andtranslated is alcoholicnishki.1200AD (the Heian Era);beverage which has been 112 INN EXPRES112 INN EXPRESS - DRINKS - DRINKS PORS PORTFOLIO 20TFOLIO 2019|20 - 19|20 - SAKESAKE'