Spooky Sake Cups
Updated: Nov 12, 2018
This last weekend of Sake October we'll finish strong with a pair of delicious brews with labels to die for. Fear not! These supernaturally themed cups are available all year round. Chiyomusubi Oyaji Gokuraku Junmai Ginjo (Tottori) This delightful sake from Tottori Prefecture is made using regional Goriki rice, a hard-to-grow variety that had had been endangered. Luckily, a few local breweries (including Chiyomusubi Brewery) and farmers took a renewed interest in bringing it back during the 80’s. Drawing from an iconic style of Japanese art (pun intended) and supernatural folklore, the image of an eyeball bathing in a shallow dish is a character from a beloved 1960’s manga called “GeGeGe no Kitaro.” Oyaji Gokuraku roughly translates to “old man’s paradise,” a fitting name for a sake that sports a lot of melon aromas more typical of old-school ginjo. As you sip, this brew starts out with a gentle sweetness, followed by bright fruity strawberry and melons, yet finishes dry and ricey. Oyaji pairs well with a stunningly wide variety of foods: anything off the grill , pasta salad, and mildly spicy veggie stir-fry, to name just a few. Yuki Otoko Junmai (Niigata) Niigata is a prefecture famed for its high mountains, abundant snowfall, and most importantly its sake-making tradition. It is written that hidden in the lofty peaks is the elusive Yuki Otoko, the ‘Abominable Snowman’, who helps travelers carry their loads and guides them through dangerous snowy mountain trails. In keeping with the good-willed spirit of this mythical creature, Aoki brewery donates a portion of their proceeds to local search and rescue organizations. We like to think that this is the kind of sake the snowman himself would enjoy drinking. Served chilled, airy aromas of sweet rice, coconut water, and coconut milk hint at daydreams of distant warmer climes; on the palate, a dry winter flurry of toasted rice, roasted nuts, and Siberian thyme are carried by a smooth white chocolate texture.