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Ryuji Takahashi

by Ryuji Takahashi

Regional Sake Specialty Store “Ji Sakeya” Owner, Master Sake Sommelier, Shuto-Meijin, and the charismatic guru of ordinary sake. Plans and manages events and seminars with his own unique flare to introduce the appeal of Japanese sake and cuisine, unaffected by the latest trends, while managing a jizake retail store.

What is Natsu Zake…? 夏酒とは…


hat do you readers look for in your Natsu Zake (summer sake)…? Recently, many of the mainstream natsu zake are non-pasteurized sake, fruity and/or sweet-and-sour in flavor. However, I personally prefer my natsu zake to be dry and very chilled upon consumption. More specifically, I prefer the “Houmei Live storage sake” or Kubota Brewery’s “Hishi-masamune Junmai Dry,” very chilled with ice cubes upon consumption to refresh during a humid and sticky summer. Also, sake is not chilled in the refrigerator, but with ice cubes. The reason why I selected 2 different types of sake is because chilling the sake with ice cubes will not lock in the flavors, but draws them out. The “Houmei live storage sake” is aromatic, gentle, and goes down smoothly with a slightly sweet lasting flavor that is characteristic of dry sake. The hotter it gets outside, the more remarkable this balanced flavor tastes to the palate. On the other hand, the “Hishi-Masamune Junmai Dry” chilled can release the banana aroma to blossom and last after swallowing. Since this is dry sake, you can continue to drink as much as you can. I want younger people to know natsu zake does not refer to sake consumed after beers and highballs, but

sake enjoyed to quench your thirst over a long period of time. The other day, I received a summer greeting gift from a vendor creating our restaurant’s cedar ball in Gero city, Gifu prefecture; where mountain stream fishing is popular in the summertime. The “Amago trout” is famous there, which he purchased young and raised in a fish farm, then enjoyed during a summer BBQ at home as salted and grilled, fried, or boiled and sweetened. This Amago trout is of the salmonidae (soft-finned) family, in which fish that migrates to and grows in oceans and lakes are referred to as “Red-spotted masu trout,” while fish that does not migrate and grow are called “Amago trout.” This fish is very similar in appearance and flavor to the “Yamame trout,” caught in East Japan or on the Japan Sea side. If a river fish is salted and grilled, perhaps the dry, refreshing, chilled Japanese sake would be highly compatible. Just imagining river fish salted and compatible with dry sake chilled in ice at a BBQ alone can seem to prolong the enjoyment of sake. The summer season offers summer cuisines and the seasonal bounty of nature. Sake that matches this summer cuisine is perhaps what could truly be called, natsu zake…?

皆夏 酒 に 何

さ ん は、

を求めるだろ か。最近の夏酒 の主流は、生酒 でフルーティ・ 甘酸っぱいなど が多い。しかし、私は辛口の酒をキンキ ンに冷やして飲むのが好きだ。兵庫県鳳 鳴酒造の「鳳鳴・生貯蔵酒」や広島県久 保田酒造の「菱正宗・超辛口純米」など を氷の中に沈め、冷えた状態を飲むとジ メジメした夏でもスッキリする。しかも 冷蔵庫などで冷やすのではなく、氷で冷 やすというところだ。なぜ、この 2 種を 選んだかというと、氷で冷やしても風味 が閉じこもる事無く、味わいがハッキリ 出ているのだ。 「鳳鳴・生貯蔵酒」は香 りは穏やかでスルッと喉に入る辛口酒な がら、ほんのり甘みが下に残るのが心地 よい。暑い日ほどこの微妙な味わいのバ ランスが素晴らしい。 「菱正宗・超辛口 純米」は冷えていても膨らむバナナの香 りと飲んだ後の余韻が良い。しかし辛口 酒なので、いくらでも飲み続ける事が出 来る。夏酒とはビールやハイボールを飲 んだ後の酒では無く、最初から喉を潤し ながら飲み続けられる酒であると若い人 にも知って欲しい。先日、当店の杉玉を 作成してもらっている岐阜県下呂市の業 者から暑中見舞いが来たのだが、あちら の方では夏は渓流釣りが盛んらしく「あ まご」という魚が有名で養魚場で幼魚を 購入し育てて、この夏に自宅でバーベ

キューを行い、塩焼きやフライ、甘露煮 で食べたと書いてあった。この「あまご」 だがサケ目サケ科に属する魚で降海型や 降湖型は「サツキマス」と呼ばれ河川残 留型を「あまご」と呼ぶらしい。東日本 や日本海側で捕れる「ヤマメ」に姿形や 味わいが非常に似ている魚らしい。その 様な川魚に塩を振り焼いた場合は、やは り辛口スッキリの冷やした日本酒ではな いだろうか。バーベキューで氷にドブ漬 けした辛口酒に塩の効いた川魚を思い浮 かべるだけで、涎が出るし何時間でも酒 を楽しんでいられる気がする。夏には夏 の食があり自然の恵みがある。これと合 わせられる酒こそが夏酒と呼べるのでは ないだろうか。

Japanese Restaurant News

Vol. 29

No. 251


Profile for All Japan News Inc

Japanese Restaurant News October 2019  

Japanese Restaurant News October 2019

Japanese Restaurant News October 2019  

Japanese Restaurant News October 2019