It is entering the height of summer in Japan.
I’d like to introduce a summer-like sake.
This sake is a local sake of Ibaraki Prefecture, and its name is “Gokeiji Nama Zake”.
It is limited to the summer season.
The combination of an opaque glass bottle and a blue label is associated with the summer ocean.
Gokeiji Nama Zake has a faint scent of some kind of fruit, and it is a dry sake that has a refreshing sweetness to it.
Sake that has been slightly chilled is perfect for summer.
I don’t like sake that is ice cold because sake loses flavor if it is over-chilled.
“Nama Zake” means unpasteurized sake.
Usually, Sake is heat treated twice during the manufacturing process in order to extinguish the enzymes it contains.
Because of that, the taste and aroma of sake are stabilized.
In the case of Nama Zake, the enzymes remain active.
In other words, the fermentation process continues.
So Nama Zake is really fresh, but its quality changes easily.
In my experience, many Japanese people don’t know what kind of sake Nama Zake is.
This is understandable.
The classification of sake is complicated, but it shows that sake brewing is really profound.
When I drink chilled sake, I use a wooden cooked rice container called “Ohitsu” as a bottle cooler.
I fill the Ohitsu with water and add some ice to it.
A bottle of sake in the Ohitsu is a characteristic Japanese style.
My Ohitsu was made by a traditional Japanese craftsperson.
Its structure is simple.
Some Akita cedar plates are bonded together with some bamboo nails and two bamboo hoops.
No chemical adhesives are used in it, but my Ohitsu doesn’t leak water at all.
My Ohitsu shows the masterly skill of the traditional Japanese craftsperson.