Six Sake Sisters: Mango & PlumWritten by Zachariah Smookler
Introducing the third brew in our Six Sake Sisters series, the Waka No Megumi “Mango & Ume” hails from the famous Wakayama Prefecture, which is also known as Japan’s fruit kingdom. Brewed at the heralded Sekai Itto Sake Brewery, this mango and ume (plum) sake is exploding with flavor and is the perfect beverage for those looking to indulge in the delicious Japanese plums.
Originally from China, ume plums are slightly smaller than a golf ball and green/yellowish in color. Ume are extremely tart and bitter and are not meant to be consumed raw. However, they are safe to eat when salted or preserved in alcohol. The ume flavor has become so mainstream in Japanese society, that you can get ume ice cream, ume tea and a plethora of other ume-themed cuisine. Never having tried any ume products before, I was very intrigued in seeing if all the hype around this mysterious Japanese plum was warranted.
Following Sekai Itto's recommendation to drink this brew chilled, I poured a glass of the orange-hued beverage and took my first sip. This beverage has a thick yet surprisingly smooth texture, and while it started out very citrusy, it tasted exceptionally elegant coming down. The army of neighbors eager to try this incredible infused mixer shared many of the same sentiments that I did after their first taste. “I could drink this all night,” “You can barely taste the alcohol,” “I can’t believe how smooth this is.” This mango and ume sake is sweet, delicious and perfect for sipping on. To further test the capabilities of this beverage, I decided to mix it with a few splashes of vodka. Half a glass of the delicious “mixer” and three splashes of vodka proved to do the trick, as the vodka truly enhanced the plum and mango notes that make this sake so special. As I had more and more of the plum and mango sake, it became apparent that the mango notes were taking a clear backseat to the ume plums. The perfect brew to pair with aperitif and dessert, my tasting party decided to indulge in a black forest trifle cake and the combination of sweet fruity sake and chocolate was unbelievable. If you are searching for a sake that is easy to sip on, and mixable with other alcohols, look no further than the smooth and elegant Waka No Megumi Mango & Ume sake.