What Exactly Is Sparkling Sake and How Is It Made?
Sparkling sake is a term used to describe sake that is fizzy and effervescent (containing carbon dioxide). It is characterised by a lower alcohol content than regular sake and is often sweeter. It is popular as a casual and easy-to-drink sake even among people who don't usually drink sake. It occupies a large place in the sake category.
There are three main types of sparkling sake: the first is the active nigori type. In this type, the unrefined sake is roughly strained and fermented in its moromi state (the state in which the bacteria are still alive) before being bottled. This method uses the fermentation power of the ingredints - rice, water and koji - to produce carbonation.
The second type is the carbonation type. This type of sake is made by injecting carbon dioxide gas into the finished sake afterwards to produce a bubbling effect. Depending on the amount of carbon dioxide gas injected, the carbonation is different from that of the fermented type, but it provides a different carbonation stimulation.
The third type is the secondary fermentation in bottle type. Like the active nigori type, this utilises the fermentation power of the ingredients to produce carbonation. The difference is that there is no fermentation power in the process of producing the sake. Therefore, once the finished sake is bottled, it is fermented with the addition of yeast and sugar. This sparkling sake has a pleasant carbonation with a gentle mouthfeel.
Recommended Sparkling Sake
Lightly cloudy sparkling junmai-shu with clean, refreshing flavor. This sparkling sake is made with the second fermentation method, which takes place in the bottle and produces the perfect amount of bubbles. Seikyo Junmai Sparkling has a low sweetness for a sparkling sake, making it a perfect match as a mid-meal drink, and you can also enjoy a beer-like thirst-quencher before a meal.
Chill well and rest to settle bubbles before opening slowly, as opening too fast will cause sake to spurt out. First enjoy as a clear drink and then gently mix, as you like, towards the end of the bottle. Due to its authentic production, even if the gas is completely released, the sake can still be enjoyed as normal light nigori sake.