Have you ever seen cloudy white sake?
Most sake is as clear as water, but cloudy white sake is called “nigorizake” and
is more fruity and sweet than regular sake. This sake is accessible to those who like sake and want to enjoy a different kind and for women who don’t like sake.
◆How to make nigorizake
Sake is made by fermenting rice in alcohol and placing it in a sakebag or other container and pressing it under pressure to separate the sake lees from the liquid. The extracted liquid is filtered to produce a transparent color.
Nigorizake is squeezed out of a coarse sake bag, which leaves the lees in the liquid. The lees that settle in the bag give nigorizake its cloudy color.
◆The Appeal of Nigorizake
Nigorizake is different from regular sake in that it is cloudy and white, so you can enjoy it from the moment you pour it into a glass.
When you drink nigorizake, it has the characteristic that it is richer, thicker, and sweeter than ordinary sake, which is refreshing overall. There are differences in the dry and sweet flavors of different brands, but the high lees content of nigorizake allows you to fully appreciate the true aroma and taste of the rice.
There is also a type of nigorizake called “sparkling nigorizake”.
Regular sake is heated to stop the yeast from working during the production process in order to prolong the storage period, but sparkling nigorizake is not heated and is bottled with the yeast still alive. Therefore, it continues to ferment in the bottle and you can enjoy the fizzy sensation.
◆What is Doburoku?
There is another type of sake called“doburoku‟, which is a cloudy white sake similar to nigorizake.
After fermenting the rice and alcohol, doburoku is never squeezed or strained.
According to Japan’s liquor tax law, those that have undergone the rubbing process are called “refined sake” and those that have not are called “miscellaneous sake”.
For this reason, nigorizake is classified as refined sake and doburoku as miscellaneous sake.
◆Things to keep in mind when enjoying nigorizake at home
Un-heated sparkling nigorizake continues to ferment in the bottle, so if the lid is carelessly opened, it will spew out with such force that not even half of the sake will be left in the bottle and the floor will be soaked with it…
Such sparkling nigorizake has a warning on the bottle, so if there is a warning,
stick a pin like a drawing pin in the lid of the bottle and leave it in the fridge for a day.
Still, there is a possibility of blowing out, so be very careful when opening the bottle.
◆How to enjoy nigorizake
There are two main ways to enjoy nigorizake.
・Enjoying the lees and the clear layer in a fluid separately
・Mix thoroughly and enjoy the lees
The lees of nigorizake will settle in the bottle during storage.
If you pour the sake without mixing the contents of the bottle, only the supernatant part will be poured first. The taste is refreshing at first, and then you can enjoy the rich taste of the muddiness at the end. On the other hand, if you mix the lees in from the beginning, you can enjoy a creamy flavor.
I hope you all enjoy nigorizake.