Six Sake Sisters: MandarineWritten by Marisela Maddox
This summer I am excited to share with you what I have affectionately nicknamed The Six Sake Sisters - a series of fruit infused sakes from the Sekai Itto Shuzo. These sake liqueurs are not like other sakes we have sold in the past and yet their newness is not even the most interesting thing about them. It is all about the flavor and variety: Mandarine, Pineapple, Mango and Plum, Yuzu, Lemon, and Sudachi. Each is flavorful enough as a stand-alone apertif or digestif, and most can be paired with complimentary flavors for a dazzling cocktail.
All of the Waka No Megumi sakes are from the Sekai Itto Shuzo in the Wakayama prefecture, also known as Kajuokoku Wakayama "The Kingdom of Fruit." Wakayama has the proud distinction of producing the "perfect mandarine" as well as ume [plums], strawberries, persimmons, and peaches. It only makes sense that Sekai Itto Shuzo, in operation since 1884, would produce fruit-infused sakes.
The first featured sake is the mikan [Mandarine] - the crown-jewel of the region. It is important to note that Japanese oranges are known for having an unrivaled balance of sweet and tart and have a long history of symbolizing good fortune and prosperity. A light-bodied sake, it is brewed with hand-picked mandarins from the world-famous Arita mandarin orchards. The result is a tasteful blend of oranges and grains, that demonstrates a subtle sweetness and a crisp, tart finish. I encourage you to first enjoy this sake solo, very chilled, either as an apertif or a digestif. It really carries its own in flavor. It can also be mixed with a splash of vodka served over crushed ice and adorned with fresh raspberries and mikan slices.