Drinks »Eiko Fuji Namasake

20110922-125937.jpgJunmai Ginjo Nama Genshu

Not since Wakatake have I fallen so in love with a sake. Eiko Fuji, like Wakatake was introduced to me by the ever excellent Zenkichi (the photo is a hand written reminder from the waiter).

It has the most pleasant scent and a pillowy, lush and almost creamy taste before ending cleanly.

It’s far more delicate than most namas (unpasteurized sake) we’ve tried and I hope I can wrangle up a bottle for a future special occasion.

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Posted on September 22, 2011

Drinks »One Cup Ozeki

from Mitsuwa Marketplace

One of our funnest purchases during a recent Mitsuwa Market trip was the One Cup Ozeki Sake. Created in 1964 so that Japanese spectators could enjoy sake in the stands of the Summer Olympics, this is somewhat of a cultural icon but totally new to Jim and I.

It comes in a five pack and is pretty cheap at about $3 per can but unlike lots of cheap sake I have tried, it’s surprisingly good. A little harsher than the oh so smooth Wakatake, but considering that comes in at about $45 a bottle, the comparison is unfair.

Not sure how available these are closer to home, though it’s worth checking Sunrise Markets in the city. Fresh Direct also has a similar one cup type available called Chiyomusubi Kitaro but it’s 9.99 per one cup serving, which seems high to me (but doesn’t mean one of these days I won’t cave and try it out).

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Posted on April 4, 2011

Drinks »Nama Sake

nama sakeUnpasteurized Goodness

If there was one thing our teacher, Timothy Sullivan, wanted us to remember from our recent sake class and tasting it was the words “Nama Sake”. Nama is unpasteurized, and takes on a complex, rich and earthy taste – it reminds me of basements, if you can believe it, in a utterly delicious way. Of course, we were able to find a fine specimen at the acclaimed Bozu, a sake mecca and one of my personal favorite restaurants in Williamsburg. Definitely get sake from a reputable place or if you buy it in a liqour store, make sure it’s in the fridge because it goes bad just like milk.

The wonderful one we tried at Bozu is called Miyasaka “Yamahai 50 Nama” Ginjo Sake. It’s a little pricey, but perfect for a special occasion. As a bonus, lucky readers, (because I’ve already recommended the restaurant here before) below/after the jump I’ve included more photos of the incredible meal including oysters smoked for days in sake in the husk of shrimp. Yummm..

Click here for the rest of Nama Sake

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Posted on January 17, 2010

Drinks »The Elements of Sake Part 1

elements of sake astor centerwith Timothy Sullivan, at Astor Center (399 Lafayette)

The one class/tasting I’ve had my eye out for for a while has been a sake class. While I love the stuff, I’ve found that aside from adoring Wakatake, I know next the nothing about it. Well, I couldn’t find a more charming teacher than the effortlessly dapper sake samurai Timothy Sullivan: a blogger (urbansake.com), educator and the all-around Tim Gunn of sake (his advice on soju in midtown karaoke parlors: Don’t do it!).

His class is called The Elements of Sake Part One (part two pairs the beverage with food) and the next one is scheduled for January 13th. It’s an informative two hour introduction to premium (and super premium) sakes and Tim makes understanding the different classifications easy. I can now, with authority, tell you the difference between junmai and junmai daiginjo (it’s all got to do with the mill of the rice).

All of the sakes we tasted were top notch and, along with the great education we received, we got pleasantly tipsy and we got to use an America’s Funniest Videos-type controller to vote on our favorites. There were three (out of the 7 we tasted) that I loved the most: Dassai 50 Junmai Ginjo Nigori (actually my top pick, a cloudy, coarsely filtered sake), Kurosawa Junmai Daiginjo (a close second, really a tie – similar in smoothness and elegance to Wakatake), and the Ohyama Tokubetsu Junmai (crisp, cucumbery and easy to drink) with an honorable mention to the complex (I wrote down my impression as “like being in an earthen basement”) and rare Nama (unpasteurized sake), Narutotai Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu.

The setting for the class is a sparkling arena with courteous staff and an easy going crowd of students. Go!

Click here for the rest of The Elements of Sake Part 1

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Posted on November 15, 2009