Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:57:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Sparkling Sake + $100 Amazon Gift Card! http://steamykitchen.com/4766-00-sparkling-sake-sake2me.html http://steamykitchen.com/4766-00-sparkling-sake-sake2me.html#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2009 14:32:44 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=4766 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 ...

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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!

Bubbly.

Tickly.

Summer-friendly!

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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.

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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:

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

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

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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…

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

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How Artisan Japanese Sake is Made http://steamykitchen.com/3996-japanese-sake-how-made.html http://steamykitchen.com/3996-japanese-sake-how-made.html#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2009 00:32:45 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=3996 Many of you know that Japanese sake is made from rice, but did you know that premium artisan sake is done mostly by hand? Very little machinery is used, which is why this is a true art form. I’m continuing my series on Premium Artisan Japanese Sake and this post is dedicated to telling the story of how the sake ...

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Many of you know that Japanese sake is made from rice, but did you know that premium artisan sake is done mostly by hand? Very little machinery is used, which is why this is a true art form. I’m continuing my series on Premium Artisan Japanese Sake and this post is dedicated to telling the story of how the sake is made.

I didn’t think a slideshow was good enough — so I spent 6 hours putting this little movie togther for you. Yes, you heard right…6 glorious hours putting together a 10 minute video. It would have taken another 4 hours if all of the content wasn’t already there from my sake partner-in-crime, Vine Connections.

How Premium Japanese Sake is Made

  • (0:30) Just like wine, region matters for Japanese Sake. Each brewer comes from a different prefecture (or region) in Japan and its geography, climate and “recipe” all affect the final product.
  • (0:50) In its final bottled form, Japanese Sake is about 80% water, so the purity and quality of the water has a significant impact to the taste of the sake.
  • (1:17) The rice used for premium sake is different than table rice – many artisan brewers use Yamada Nishiki rice
  • (1:35) It’s all about the rice! See photos of the rice grains – from regular table rice to Ginjo rice to Daiginjo rice. Compare how different they look (shape and color.) Brewers use modern milling machines to remove the unwanted outer layers of the rice.
  • (3:00) After milling, the rice kernals are washed, soaked and then steamed
  • (3:44) Koji mold is sprinkled onto the rice to start the fermentation process to convert starch to sugar to alcohol. See how it’s done by hand!
  • (4:40) Photo of koji and rice after 48 hours – it smells faintly like sweet chestnuts
  • (4:50) Moto, a yeast starter is added and over 100 million yeast cells develops in just 1 teaspoon!
  • (5:07) Over 4 days, more koji, steamed rice and water is added and stirred by hand with long poles – impressive photo
  • (5:22) The carbon dioxide that bubbles up to the surface of the fermenting mixture or “moromi” is mixed back in through a crude foam beater
  • (5:33) The moromi is fermented at low temperatures – while industrial sake brewers can finish this in as little as 18 days, artisan brewers can take as long as 32 days to ferment
  • (6:00) See an artisan brewer’s sake press. Once the moromi is finished, the sake is pressed through this simple machine called “fune”
  • (6:41) An even more extravagent way of pressing sake is simply letting it drip down in hanging cotton bags through its own weight
  • (7:10) Extreme Sake?! Yes totally! This sake, called Divine Droplets is drip-pressed in a hand-made igloo built right outside of the brewery
  • (7:50) Pasteurization also done simply by hand and in small batches
  • (8:07) Learn how to read a sake label – the sake that Vine Connections imports all have a distinct label that tells you region, grade, type of rice and flavor profiles
  • (8:48) Fantastic new product called sparkling sake that I love! sake2me is made with premium junmai sake and infused with all-natural flavors.

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Japanese Sake Posts

Here are other sections that we’ll be covering in the next few weeks

Japanese Sake Grades

How is Sake Made? (this post)

Artisan vs. Mass Produced Chart

Food and Sake Pairing

How to Read the Labels

How to Serve Sake

How to Have Sake Tasting at Home

What’s a fun, modern way to enjoy sake? Sparkling Sake: sake2me

Tasting Notes: Living Jewel

Tasting Notes: Divine Droplets Sake

Tasting Notes: Wandering Poet Sake

Tasting Notes: Snow Maiden Sake

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