Recently, in Japan, “Sparkling Sake” and “Nigori Sake” are getting popular. The word Nigori means “cloudy” in Japanese. Unlike ordinary sake, Nigori Sake is not transparent, so it got such a name. And Nigori Sake is being said that it contains lots of nutrition.
So why is Nigori Sake cloudy? In the first place, what is Nigori Sake?
What’s Nigori Sake?
In order to understand about Nigori, you first have to understand the manufacturing process of sake.
A detailed explanation on how to make sake is explained in “12 traditional steps to make sake”, but let’s also simply look back on the process of sake production here.
- Step 01: Polish Rice
- Step 02: Wash and Soak Rice
- Step 03: Steam Rice
- Step 04: Make Koji Rice
- Step 05: Make Shubo
- Step 06: Ferment rice
- Step 07: Press Fermented Rice
- Step 08: Remove sediment from Sake
- Step 09: Filter Sake further
- Step 10: Heat Sake
- Step 11: Store and wait for shipment
- Step 12: Pack Japanese Sake in a bottle
In Step 07 of this process, Nigori Sake is made by squeezing rice roughly and leaving lees.
Therefore, the white component that clouds the color of Nigori Sake is the sediment born in the manufacturing process, and this is the rice itself. And the white ingredients change the taste of Nigori Sake into smooth.
Does Nigori Sake have plenty of nutrition!?
This sediment part is full of nutrition!
This part contains protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B5, dietary fiber. Sekinoichi Shuzo, a brewer in Iwate, Japan says that “Nigori Sake is effective for prevention of summer fatigue” on their blog.
By the way, there are people sometimes misunderstanding about Nigori Sake. Nigori Sake is not “unfiltered sake”. Because Japanese Sake is definded to be “liquor which fermented and filtered rice” under Japanese law. Alcohol made from rice that has never been filtered is not called Japanese Sake in the first place.
Types of Nigori Sake
There are two types of Nigori Sake.
- Non Sparkling Nigori Sake
- Sparkling Nigori Sake
Nigori Sake more than once heated up before shipping becomes NonSparkling Nigori Sake. This is what I earlier said that Step 09 of Sake brewing process.
Basically, Nigori Sake without heated up before shipping becomes Sparkling Nigori Sake. Because Kobo East lives in sake even after it is shipped, they will continue to be active during the distribution process, and Sake will be finished in Sparkling. However, contrary to NonSparkring Nigori Sake which is shipped after warming, quality stability becomes difficult.
How to drink Nigori Sake?
Generally, Nigori Sake is not enjoyed with Hot Sake Style. I like chilling in the refrigerator or drinking it with room temperature.
If you keep it gently at home after purchasing, liquid in the bottle will be separated into two parts: clear liquid on the top, and clouded liquid in the lower part in the bottle.
If you open the bottle carefully and drink only the clear liquid, you can enjoy the taste like ordinary sake. If you drink after quietly shaking the bottle, you can enjoy mellow Nigori Sake. However, please take care not to blow over too much if you shake Sparkling Nigori Sake.