Thirsty Thursday is going to follow this week’s cue by letting everyone in on a little secret, one that makes Asian dining delicious: sake.
Whether you serve it hot or cold, rice wine is the perfect companion to any of the Asian fare Feaston has offered this week.
If you’ve had it, great! Try our favorite brand. If not, take the plunge and experience something new from the Far East.
We’re fairly new to the world of sake, so when we went to get a bottle to go with my Wegmans sushi, we didn’t know where to begin. What we did know was we wanted something traditional, not flavored. Also, we didn’t want the bottom drawer cheapo sake, because that sounded totally gross.
After we enlisted the help of some liquor store clerks, they helped us track down someone else who worked there with knowledge of sake. Apparently Sake is quite popular in fruity flavors: pear, plum, etc. No thanks, we said. Give us the real stuff.
So we reviewed our options. The bottles ranged up to like $50. Meh. Sounds like too much. We settled on a bottle of Gekkeikan Premium Gold. Priced at about $20, it seemed reasonable for an import.
While we’ve had sake served both ways, warm and chilled, we are more partial to the latter and popped it into the fridge for about an hour. Keep in mind when you serve sake, that you don’t want extreme temperatures: only slightly chilled or just a little warm. Remember — it needs drinkability.
Pouring our first drinks into large shot glasses, we threw them down, just like in the movies. Sake goes down surprisingly smooth, with just a little bite at the end. The aftertaste took me a minute to put my finger on, but then it hit me: it tasted slightly like domestic beer.
I thought about this revelation for a minute. Why would rice wine taste like Bud or Miller? AH-HA! The RICE! See Bud and Miller use rice in their grain mixture because it’s cheap. That taste totally translates to the end product and comes out a little on the sake side.
How ’bout it?
A half a bottle of sake later, we were feeling pretty good about our meal. Especially because the sake comes in at about 13 percent alcohol. Also, it drinks much faster than grape wine. All this = Wheeeee!
So have yourself an experience. Next time you’re feeling like cooking a little Asian food, pay attention to the last little detail and buy a bottle of sake.