Monday, September 28, 2009
Sake of the Day
“For me, namazake is the best kind to drink, and I’m so into Kikusui.”
So declares apprentice manga artist Eiko Magami as she refers to Funaguchi Kikusui Ichibanshibori, a canned, non-pasteurized and undiluted nihonshu.
Turns out that 99% of sake on the market has been pasteurized twice - once straight after brewing, and another time after a decent maturation period or just prior to shipping.
Namazake, like a fine wine, has not; it continues to age in the can.
“Kikusui was released in 1972, and it was the first attempt at this kind of sake at the time,” advises Ryoko Takano at Kikusui Sake Co., Ltd., which takes its name from a Noh song concerning a 700-year-old mountain hermit, and is based in Shibata in Niigata. “This is our long-time best seller because of its fresh fragrance derived from a first-pressed and non-pasteurized method, and its full-body taste derived from the undiluted process.”
The rest of this rather wayward (and much longer) homage to one of my favourite Japanese brews is going to be published through Geek Monthly in its November issue, with feedback from DJ/producer Ken Ishii, anime writer/director Satoshi Kon, and Death Note director Shusuke Kaneko - plus an extended mix of the story will be published in book-form next year. I kid you not.