Ideal with or without food, this bubbly Japanese rice drink is a welcomed innovation

Of the various types of Japanese sake available, lively sparkling sake is a modern take which can pair easily with food from other cuisines, or be drunk on its own. Some sparkling sake sees the addition of fruits such as yuzu, cantaloupe, blackcurrants and strawberries. The alcohol content is also usually lower (around half) of the 15% found in most traditional sakes. All this leads to a beverage which is refreshing, sweet and easy to drink, and appealing to the younger generation or those embarking on their first foray into sake.

TO GO WITH BAR FOOD

Umenoyado
Price: $13.80 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 6%
From region: Nara
Brewery: Tsuki Usagi
Taste: Watch the effervescence elegantly rise from your glass in this carefully handmade sparkling sake. Made in the same style as champagne, it has a refreshing and sweet finish. Pairs well with Japanese, Italian and French foods.

Shochikubai Mio
Price: $11.50 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 5%
From region: Nada
Brewery: Shochikubai
Taste: The Mio proves to be an easy drink for any sake novice, finding the balance between acidity and sweetness. Getting its flavour only from rice and rice malt, it feels natural and light on the palate. Great as a pre-dinner drink or for parties.

Kizakura Yuzushu High Ball
Price: $10.00 / 330ml
Alcohol level: 7%
From region: Kyoto
Brewery: Kizakura
Taste: More a sake cocktail as the name implies, this bottle is packed with the brisk fragrance of yuzu. Once opened, the zesty aroma hits you square on the nose. Sweet and light on the palate, it bears the unmistakable taste of sake. The perfect foil to oily foods such as fried chicken or French fries.

FOR THE SERIOUS DRINKERS

Japon
Price: $21.40 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 8%
From region: Kyoto
Brewery: Tanzan
Taste: A semi-dry sparkling sake, with a pleasant flavour reminiscent of champagne, with notes of melon and honey permeating each sip. Very food-friendly.

Hakkaisan Haoppou Nigori Sparkling
Price: $32.10 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 14.5%
From region: Niigata
Brewery: Hakkaisan
Taste: A crisp drink with a clean taste as well as aroma, it is probably the closest you would get
to a regular sake both in terms of flavour and alcohol content. This nigori (unfiltered, cloudy sake) based drink is recommended as an aperitif or to pair with rich and spicy dishes.

AS DESSERT

Chobitto Kanpai
Price: $21.40 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 6%
From region: Shizuoka
Brewery: Hana no Mai
Taste: Flavour comes across clean and unadulterated, the natural sweetness of the grain shining through the drink. This is balanced with a gentle amount of tartness to make you reach for your glass constantly.

Chobitto Kanpai Melon
Price: $21.40 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 6%
From region: Shizuoka
Brewery: Hana no Mai
Taste: Using melon purée from a Shizuoka cantaloupe known as the “crown melon”  or “aroma melon” , and blended with the fine sake they produce, this drink brings together fruity flavours against a backdrop of the subtly fragrant rice.

Chobitto Kanpai Ichigo Strawberry
Price: $21.40 / 300ml
Alcohol level: 6%
From region: Shizuoka
Brewery: Hana no Mai
Taste: Adding only Shizuoka strawberries, this refreshing sparkling sake is free of any other additives. A blend of piquant strawberries and clean rice flavours makes it a great substitute for dessert.

All sakes available at Meidi-ya, #B1-50 Liang Court, 177 River Valley Road. Tel: 6339 1112