HAKUTSURU Excellent Junmai Sake

My Fellow Inebriates,

I’m so happy to have tasters share their liquor faves with me, and I was delighted to receive the following tasting notes from my friend Sophie:

LB, I started early and tasted something called sake. I am told it is a rice wine. I prefer to drink it hot. They pour it in little cups and you slam them down in one gulp. At least I did. Here’s what I’d say: Warms you up going down, makes you happy, tastes like booze. Oh, and you can drink a lot of it.

I love the fact that Sophie started early. Every day I wake up with a big jones for alcohol but sometimes feel a tad constrained by social mores and fail to get drinking early enough for my tastes. I think sake is a superb breakfast accompaniment, or substitute really—there’s something light about it that suggests morning.

I don’t know if Sophie started with HAKUTSURU Excellent Junmai Sake but it’s my first choice among the Japanese wines. It’s inexpensive and boasts a quite sufficient 15.5% alcohol content. But how does it taste?

Sake’s a tricky drink because preference is so individual about correct temperature. For Sophie it’s “hot” and for me it’s “very warm.” This is because I am so terrified of overheating it and accidentally burning off some of its valuable alcohol. But let’s say you have your little cup at the perfect temperature. Well, it’s going to cool down pretty fast, so you have a small window of time to drink it in its ideal state. So you slam it like my friend Sophie, and next thing you know, you need a refill. This can go on for quite a while, especially if you buy your HAKUTSURU in the 18L cubic container.

This rice wine is full-bodied but tastes deceptively light and dry. Whether you drink it warm or cold, it warms you as it goes down. Oh yeah, and it tastes like booze. As Sophie says, you can drink a lot of it, precisely because it is so subtle and inoffensive.

A lot of people recommend pairing sake with food, particularly spicy and savory food, and if you do so you’ll be able to get away with drinking more of it. But it’s a lovely beverage on its own.

Of course, overindulging in sake can lead to all sorts of inappropriate situations, so be careful, and make sure, when you go on a sake bender, that you’re with someone you like.

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