Summer Sake “Natsu Sake” – Seasonal products for local markets
Japanese summer is hot and humid. Due to the climate conditions, alcohol beverages particularly popular in summer in Japan are freezing cold beers and hi-balls. You might associate Sake as a drink for winter. In fact, there are types of Sake suitable to drink in summer, too. This article explores the charms of Summer Sake, Natsu Sake (夏酒).
Characters of Summer Sake
There is no clear definition of Summer Sake. Simply put, 1) Sake which breweries recommend to consume in summer, and 2) Sake shipped from breweries in summer, roughly fall into the category of Summer Sake, Natsu Sake. Summer Sake often has such following features as ‘being drunk cold’, ‘having refreshing tastes’, ‘having clear and light drinking textures’, and ‘being low in alcohol’.
Breweries also pay attention to add summer-like touches not only to the content of the bottle, but also to its presentations, for example, by using sky-blue bottles as well as labels with summery images. These bottles can produce cool impressions and add an seasonal touches to the product. Clear glass wears are highly recommended to fully enjoy Natsu Sake.
Summer Sake to be recommended
Fresh with the effect of citric acid
Sake is mostly made from Yellow Koji. However, acidic Sake suitable for summer is made from white Koji. Sake made from white Koji has a sharp taste with a short finish. It should help cool your throat down.
Low level of alcohol
Sake often has an alcohol level of 15 to 17 %. Sake lower than 14% is often considered as low in alcohol. This type of Sake has a soft touch and gives a smooth texture. Since it is easy to drink, it can be recommended to the younger generations and foreign consumers who are not very familiar with Sake.
Sparkling Sake with bubbles
Sparkling Sake often has lower contents of alcohol. It can give refreshing tastes with small bubbles popping inside mouth. It provides a soothing effect to throat on a summer day. With a lighter alcohol level and refreshing tastes, it is popular even among the non-frequent consumers of Sake.
Powerful rich style
In contrary to the styles of Sake introduced above, powerful rich Sake with strong flavours and higher level of alcohol can be an attractive option in summer. To fully taste its ingredients, a strong recommendation is to drink powerful rich style of Sake on the rock. Melt icy water lowers the level of alcohol around the ice and helps us enjoy the natural flavours of the ingredients of Sake. Adding sparkling water to it can create a drier touch and expands its charms even more.
Little alert when drinking Summer Sake
On a hot day, we are likely to drink beverages relatively at a higher pace with a larger sip to remove thirst on the throat as quickly as possible. Therefore majority of Summer Sake are produced soft and light. As it is very easy to drink, a problem to be reminded is an overconsumption. We all should be careful to avoid over-consumption. I would like to emphasize the importance of “Yawaragi-mizu, soothing water, to mitigate the negative effects of alcohol consumptions. In any ways, it is recommended to consume alcohol in a sound manner. In summer, due to natural perspiration of body and diuretic effect of alcohol, people can easily become dehydrated and it can cause an increase of alcohol within blood. With a glass of soothing water aside, you can enjoy a drink in a healthier manner. The core principal is always drink alcoholic beverages with moderation to fully benefit from the experiences.
To sum up, Summer Sake can be a great companion for your special occasions with its refreshing textures and tastes. However we tend to feel more open-minded in summer and sometimes end up drinking too much alcohol in summer. It is important to always drink with moderation and enjoy them at most in a healthy manner!
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