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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sparkling Sake + $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Is there nothing better than me bribing you to learn about Artisan Japanese Sake?! ;-)

My client, Vine Connections is an importer and distributor of sake…and by now I hope you’ve learned that not all Japanese sake is created equal. That hot, cheap stuff that you might have tried at a Japanese restaurant is crap. It burns like lighter fluid down your throat and I can’t drink that stuff…unless I’m playing a drinking game….because that’s the point of a drinking game, right? The alcohol in play has to be crap, otherwise “losing” is actually enjoyable! Okay, so here’s my recommendation.

Otherwise, I suggest you give good quality, artisan-made, chilled Japanese sake a try. Or perhaps I can convince you to try sparkling sake2me!





Sparkling Sake – sake2me

3 1/2 years ago, Jeffrey Smith had a vision of combining an easy-to-drink, lightly sparkling beverage that was made with premium Japanese sake. He quit his boring 9 to 5 (um. more like 5 to 9) job at a private equity firm and joined forces with wine and Japanese sake veterans at Vine Connections to come up with Asian-inspired flavors.

Every week, they’d get together and play with different flavors to see what would 1) taste great but also 2) have the flavor complexities that wine-connoisseurs would appreciate. A pic of the dining room experiments…with 60 different flavors on the table to play with! There’s Jeffrey on the far left.


From the 60 flavors, they got down to the top 8 flavor combination…and then whittled it down to the fab four sparkling sake flavors:

sake2me Sparkling Sake Flavors

Ginger-Mango: “Refreshing” Ginger has a refreshing and clean flavor and has been prized for its medicinal properties in traditional health practices for centuries. The Mango’s fleshy, sweet, sensual fruit flavor pairs well with the spicy ginger.

Green Tea: “Crisp, Pure, Clean” A blend of Asian green teas with notes of lemongrass and wildflower honey; well known for its antioxidant qualities.

Yuzu Citrus: “Tangy Citrus Fruit” Lemony citrus aroma with a hint of orange peel and mint; a rare, fragrant Japanese citrus fruit.

Asian Pear: “Sweet, Ripe” Ripe, juicy pear with subtle brown spice aromatics.

And here is Jeffrey holding the very first bottle of sake2me that came off the production line:


The first BOX of sake2me was born!! Awww…how cute.


sake2me sparkling sake became a BIG HIT…just last month they were featured on the Today Show! I love when dreams come true.



What I love about sake2me is that it’s all-natural, gluten-free and even the box is made of recycled materials.

So what does sake2me taste like? It’s lightly sparkling, fresh natural flavors and very little sugar. It’s NOT that sweet, syrupy, overly fizzy drink that you’d find in other drinks. Instead, it’s clean and refreshing. Would you like to try it?

Win $100 Amazon Gift Card

amazon-gift-cardI wish I could send you each a bottle of sake2me…but (ahem) something about shipping alcohol…I’d probably piss off those pesky people at the Bureau of Alcohol. So, instead I’m giving away $100 Amazon Gift Card — just because I appreciate you reading through this post and learning about sparkling sake.

Here’s how to play. In the comments below, tell me which is your favorite sake2me sparkling sake flavor…


A random winner will be chosen on my birthday, August 8th! Enter once please! Game Over! Winner has been announced already!

571 Responses to “Sparkling Sake + $100 Amazon Gift Card!”

  1. Kristen — 8/4/09 @ 10:17 pm

    I’d have to go with green tea…you see so many citrus options, but this flavor is much more unique (and totally japanese!)

    • Elfie — 8/5/09 @ 4:00 pm

      Asian Pear…something sensuous about the flavor of a perfectly ripe pear. Yum!

  2. jeni — 8/4/09 @ 10:24 pm

    Wow, all of them sound tasty. But green tea seems like something I need to try. Now. :9

  3. Mia W — 8/4/09 @ 10:53 pm

    I think the citrus would be my choice – the bite would probably complement the sake the best… excited at the prospect!

  4. Dara B. — 8/4/09 @ 11:05 pm

    Green tea (never fails) and Asian Pear (always exciting)!

  5. Helen — 8/4/09 @ 11:14 pm

    The Asian Pear flavor sounds awesome!

  6. Bill Weiss — 8/4/09 @ 11:25 pm

    I’m going to guess that the Yuzu Citrus would be my favorite, but I haven’t been able to taste it :/

  7. danielle Lee — 8/4/09 @ 11:32 pm

    They all sound yummy, but I’m hankering for Yuzu Citrus.

  8. Mimi — 8/4/09 @ 11:37 pm

    I think I would like the asian pear. I bet it tastes clean and refreshing.

  9. Alison — 8/4/09 @ 11:40 pm

    As much as love citrus in my food, I love in in sake. It really was such a surprise that I actually liked it after my previous sake experiences.

  10. Jennifer — 8/4/09 @ 11:58 pm

    The Asian Pear is absolutely divine!!!

  11. scrapper al — 8/5/09 @ 12:12 am

    All the flavors sound yummy, but I think the Green Tea and Yazu Citrus sound the best! Good luck to Sake2me!

  12. Lynn — 8/5/09 @ 12:29 am

    Ginger Mango would be my favorite, I love the mango…

  13. Lillian — 8/5/09 @ 1:04 am

    asian pear sounds delicious!

  14. Dynila — 8/5/09 @ 2:10 am

    Decisions, decisions…

    I’d have to go with the Yuzu citrus, because I love lemon. If they were out of that, well… I love ginger, but never tried a mango, so a combination of the two in alcohol form is as good a way as any…

  15. Jeanne — 8/5/09 @ 2:15 am

    Sweet!!!!!! Ginger Mango for sure! Yum!!!
    Happy August birthday–I’m August too – on the 25th! Hope your day is GREAT!

  16. TempusFugitive — 8/5/09 @ 2:39 am

    Enjoyed the green tea. Will have to try the others…

  17. muglinka — 8/5/09 @ 3:53 am

    ginger mango, hands down. i am a sucker for all things ginger.

  18. Lucinda — 8/5/09 @ 6:12 am

    I’m going Ginger-Mango and I’m not looking back.

    Growing up in America with a Thai mother, my family feasted on anything that reminded them of the home country, which of course spotlighted mango.

    I’m looking forward to having two of my favorite things combined and ready to go, mango and alcohol. Can’t wait to try some!

  19. Britt — 8/5/09 @ 7:04 am

    These products are so refreshing. Ginger Mango is my favorite, hands down.

  20. Maria — 8/5/09 @ 7:31 am

    Yuzu citrus is my favorite!

  21. Angie — 8/5/09 @ 8:32 am

    I love the green tea!!

  22. jimmy — 8/5/09 @ 8:43 am

    defintely yuzu is the best all around one!

  23. PaisleyPam — 8/5/09 @ 10:52 am

    Asian Pear sounds wonderful.

  24. Diana — 8/5/09 @ 11:20 am

    Asian pear! I love that flavor in almost anything. Except maybe pizza. I dunno, maybe it could work.

  25. Clee — 8/5/09 @ 11:32 am

    Ooh the yuzu citrus sounds lovely…

  26. JulieK — 8/5/09 @ 11:37 am

    Asian Pear! Whoo Hooo!

  27. Jessica — 8/5/09 @ 11:47 am

    The ginger mango. The warmth of ginger… sweetness of mango. Yum.

  28. Artsygal — 8/5/09 @ 12:20 pm

    Oh oh oh! Ginger mango for me all the way! I love that combination. And I love ginger mixed with booze.. ginger martinis anyone? Pick me, pretty please?

  29. Ellen Crane — 8/5/09 @ 12:26 pm

    Hi there.. I haven’t had an opportunity to try any of the Sake2Me flavors yet because I live in a very rural part of the country. I do love Sake however and these sound like fun. Husband and I are driving to Little Rock on Saturday, so we’ll check out a liquor store along the way. My first choice to try would be either the Green Tea or the Ginger-Mango. I must say the Asian Pear sounds intriguing too.

    Thanks for letting us know about Sake2Me.


  30. Ashley — 8/5/09 @ 12:48 pm

    I’m really into anything ginger right now, so my vote goes to Ginger Mango. Seems like the kick from the ginger would cut through the sweetness of the mango well. I’m going to have to give this a try! Thanks!

  31. SweetAl — 8/5/09 @ 1:03 pm

    Gotta go Ginger Mango. A great palate cleanser with just about any seafood.

  32. Angelina — 8/5/09 @ 1:26 pm

    I would pick Yazu Citrus! Yummm!

  33. Rebecca — 8/5/09 @ 2:34 pm

    mmmm… Ginger mango sounds yummy and an interesting combination. I love the flavor of ginger so I’ll go with that one!

  34. Joyce — 8/5/09 @ 2:46 pm

    Ginger Mango

  35. Melissa — 8/5/09 @ 3:04 pm

    The green tea sparkling sake sounds delicious! Thanks for the fun post, Jaden!

  36. Lexi — 8/5/09 @ 3:09 pm

    The ginger mango sounds great to me.

  37. Maple — 8/5/09 @ 3:18 pm

    Asian Pear ~ sounds yummy!

  38. Jack Tanksley — 8/5/09 @ 3:31 pm

    Asian Pear with a Super Crunch roll (containing, of course Asian Pear.

    jacunivac on Twitter

  39. Julie — 8/5/09 @ 3:35 pm

    I love them all, but Green Tea is my favorite!

  40. Sandy — 8/5/09 @ 3:43 pm

    Green Tea with the lemongrass and wild flower honey sounds awesome. That’s the one I would try first! (And then the others, because they all sound great.)

  41. Paula — 8/5/09 @ 4:02 pm

    I think the Ginger Mango would be my favorite. anything mango is good, anything ginger is good….so it has to be a winning combination, right?

  42. Stephanie S — 8/5/09 @ 4:30 pm

    Id like to try the green tea!

  43. Janet — 8/5/09 @ 5:11 pm

    Yuzu citrus!

  44. Barbarainnc — 8/5/09 @ 5:20 pm

    I’d like to try the Asian Pear!!! :) :) :)

  45. Tonya — 8/5/09 @ 5:23 pm

    I would probably love to try Asian Pear 1st. I just had sparkling sake for the 1st time about a week ago. We do the hot sake drinking game at our local sushi bar on 99 cent sake bottle of sake night. And it is BAAAD!

  46. Ilana — 8/5/09 @ 5:29 pm

    They all sound good but I think I’d go for the ginger/mango.

  47. jennywenny — 8/5/09 @ 6:01 pm

    I think the yuzu citrus would be a nice refreshing cooker in this hot weather we’re having. Pick me please!!

  48. PinkDevora — 8/5/09 @ 6:24 pm

    I think the Asian Pear sounds interesting and unique.

  49. Christine Wright — 8/5/09 @ 6:39 pm

    Pear! Pear!

  50. trish — 8/5/09 @ 6:43 pm

    mmm ginger mango

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