Japanese Best Sake and Sake Desserts!
Recently, Japanese alcohol, known as Sake (酒) or Nihonshu (日本酒), has been catching hearts of many people around the world. In fact, Japan has seen a great increase in Sake exports for the last about ten years.
Sake is made from rice, water, and yeast, which makes it distinct from other types of alcoholic beverages enjoyed in the world, such as beer, wine, and whiskey. Sake is not only served at restaurants and bars, but also a popular choice for gifts, or omiyage, among Japanese people and tourists.
Since there are hundreds of brands of Sake, you may wonder what to try first.
So, Japadventure will introduce 10 best brands of Sake you want to try for the first time.
Also, many confectionery companies have invented desserts that use actual Sake!
We will introduce top 10 Sake desserts after the best Sake brands ranking.
We hope you will read this page through the end!
Top 10 Brands of Japanese Sake!
Firstly, let's look at top 10 brands of Sake.
Dassai is known to be the most popular and tasty Sake in Japan. With a sweet flavor and smooth texture, Dassai is the best option for your first Sake experience. This brand is popular in Japan and beyond.
Kubota is probably the best-known Sake brand in Japan and has a prestige of a luxurious gift. Of course, it tastes delicious!
There are several kinds in Kubota Sake, with “Manju” known to have the best flavour. Manju has a mild, smooth texture and tastes great both warmed and cooled.
Yamamoto, the CEO of the company, has been coming out with innovative Sake series. The brand “Yamamoto” is one of them. Yamamoto has a unique, refreshing, juicy taste, which makes it always sold-out.
Juyondai has been ranked within No.5 in the most-popular Sake ranking in Japan for the last 30 years. It is called “Cult Sake” because it is hard to find. This brand is produced by Takagi Shuzo brewery and uses a centuries-old method and a lot of experiments, which makes the brand both traditional and ground-breaking.
Kokuryu, produced by Kokuryu brewery based in Fukui, is a representative brand of Sake from Fukui. This Sale is loved by celebrities and even by the prince of Japan. Enjoy sweet and savory taste with a quick dry finish.
Mio is a type of sparkling Sake, a groundbreaking kind with low alcohol content and fruity flavour, which attracts women and the younger generations. Enjoy chilled at any occasions, even at casual-style lunch! It goes well not only with Japanese food but also other types of cuisine!
Hakkaisan is another brand of Sake that is the most-known in Japan, as well as Kubota. To achieve the smooth, pure, mellow flavours, the brewery keeps the production in small batches, using hand-made koji and slow fermentation at low temperatures. With light taste and fruity flavour, it goes well with any types of food.
Aramasa is a brand that has recently popular among Sake-fleeks. The brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Japan, but it produces new products combining unique ideas with conventional Sake.
As seen in the wine-like bottle and label, Aramasa tastes modern and elegant.
The brewer focuses on improving the taste of Sake to produce a high-quality sake, so it invests on as many resources as possible to achieve the goal. It has a rich, clear flavour so much that makes everyone fell in love.
The brewer wants to make Hiroki “Sake that has a great presence.” To produce such Sake, they put much effort and concentration and produce a little amount, which makes Hiroki “Cult Sake.”
10. Kamoshi-bito Kuheiji
Kamoshi-bito Kuheiji is known to be the most popular Sake brand overseas. This brand opened a new way to enjoy Sake by dealing with acidity, which had not been favoured in the world of Sake. It has a traditional Sake flavour, but at the same time has a fresh tropical fruit flavour and acidity with a dry finish.
Top 10 Sake Desserts
Now, let's move on to top 10 Sake desserts. All of the sweets are the combination of sweets from Western countries and Sake. You want to see what it tastes like?
Sake Kitkat is now famous in Japan and often chosen for gifts. This snack is also popular among tourists and they take it back home. The rich taste of "Manjusen" Sake makes a great harmony with white chocolate. You feel the sweetness of white chocolate and dry, light flavour of Sake.
On the package it has a bottle of Sake with shiny gold letters "日本酒Kitkat (Sake kitkat)" on. It creates a gorgeous appearance making the item perfect both for enjoying on your own and for a present.
2. Kikizake Chocolat
Kikizake Chocolat is nama-chocolate, a type of Japanese ganache, mixed with “Kirinzan” Sake. The chocolate is poured in a cup and eaten with bamboo-made spoon. It is the best eaten with chilled. This is a perfect dessert for those who adore chocolate and Sake.
3. Nihonshu Cake Ichi no Ichi no Ichi
This cake is produced and sold by Palace Hotel Tokyo. The cake is put in a wooden box, which creates a luxurious and authentic high-quality appearance.
A quality Sake flavour spreads all over your mouth when you bite into it. It uses the house Sake brand “Ichi no Ichi no Ichi” and a famous brand ”Hakkaisan.” The combination of Sake and cake is amazing.
340-years-old Sake brewery collaborated with a local pastry shop to produce Sake macaroon. The cream contains Kikuhide Sake and flavoured with Sake lees. It has a sweet taste that normal macaroon has, but the dry flavour of Sake comes to the end.
5. Sansha Zizake Pudding
Sansha is a brewery that started Sake production in the 19th century. It has been creating new ways of enjoying Sake by marketing food that uses Sake. The popular selection of Sake food is pudding. It tastes sweet and has a creamy texture, but has a slightly bitter, dry taste that comes from Sake.
6. Sake Jelly
Sake Jelly uses Sake produced from Akita, a prefecture in Tohoku and has been producing great Sake. The jelly contains less than 3% of alcohol, which makes the flavour light and enjoyable for everyone. It can be enjoyed either chilled or frozen.
The package is also eye-catching. The sweet is put in a cup with a label on, creating the same appearance of Sake that is sold.
7. Sake Cheesecake
This cheesecake is not what you would imagine: it is put in a cup and eaten with a spoon. Each cup of cheesecake contains one kind of Sake produced around Biwa lake, and there are six varieties in total. A packet comes in all the six kinds of Sake cheesecake so you can enjoy different flavour of Sake. One tastes strong; another tastes light. Importantly, this dessert was chosen as “the best omiyage” by the Japan Tourism Agency!
8. Kirinsan Terrine Chocolat
Terrine Chocolat is generally made with Western alcoholic beverages such as rum. Kirinsan Terrine Chocolat uses Kirinsan Sake instead of Western alcohol and is flavoured with Iyokan, a type of Japanese orange. The combination of Western sweet and Japanese ingredient creates an excellent taste.
9. Sakekasu Ice Cream
Sakekasu is the Sake lees. Sakekasu ice cream uses the Sake lees of ”Dassai,” which was introduced above. Although the ice cream uses Sake, it does not have a strong flavor: the scent of Sake gently fills your mouth. This sweet is good for both Sake lovers and non-Sake lovers. It is the best chilled and sliced.
10. Nihonshu Nama Chocolate
Nama Chocolate is a type of Japanese ganache, which is a popular selection of sweets in Japan. Nihonshu Nama Chocolate is produced and sold by a confectionery shop called SILSMARIA, which first marketed nama chocolate. It uses Kokushimusou Sake, a famous brand from Hokkaido. The dry flavour of Kokushimusou goes well with the sweet flavour of chocolate.