Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rice is Nice, Sake is Better

What looks like vodka, is brewed like beer, but drinks like wine? The answer is sake, the ancient and traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice.

Locally, there's no better place to learn about it firsthand than SASA Restaurant in Shaker Square. The restaurant has more than 40 different kinds of sake on the menu. Every Tuesday night, 300 ml bottles are half price, or you can opt for sake flights or sake cocktail specials. Owners Scott and Brenda Kim also host three-course sake tasting dinners on the last Tuesday of each month (advance reservations are required).

But at 6 p.m. April 22, there's an opportunity to go a little deeper. Artisan sake expert Norikane Kira will be on hand to provide a guided tour through five imported varieties of Jizake, distinctive regional versions of the rice beverage produced in small batches. Each will be paired with a small dish that is sure to be wonderful. The event will cost $15 per person, plus tax and gratuity not included. Seating is limited and reservations are essential. My husband and I are already on the list and looking forward to some liquid education.

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