SIX SAKE SISTERS: sudachiWritten by Zachariah Smookler
Our second brew in the Six Sake Sisters series is the zesty yet positively sweet and sour Waka No Megumi “Sudachi.” Brewed in the Wakayama Prefecture, which is also known as Japan’s Fruit Kingdom, Sudachi is a light-bodied brew that embodies the taste notes of what most Americans would describe as a mandarin orange and kaffir lime. A product of the world famous Sekai Itto Sake Brewery, this sudachi-infused sake is bursting with flavor and from the moment I took my first sip I fell in love with the fruity explosion that ensued.
First, sudachi is a tart citrus, akin to a lime in size and color though thought to have a much zestier flavor. Unlike a traditional lime, sudachi is not consumed as a fruit, rather it is used as food flavoring in place of lemon or lime. It is a popular flavor for Japanese candies, ice cream and ice pops, sodas....and sake!
Following the brewer’s recommendation to drink this sake both chilled and on the rocks, I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth it was. The sudachi gave the sake an almost margarita-like taste that started out sour, yet as I swallowed it instantly turned sweet. The cohort of neighbors I had invited over to taste this unique brew, many of whom were first-time sake drinkers, were amazed at the texture and taste notes that were undeniably very “citrusy.” I began to hear phrases like “it doesn’t even taste alcoholic!” and “this is actually good. I’m surprised I like it!” For first time sake drinkers, you would d be hard pressed to find a fruitier yet smoother beverage. There is a clear hint of “lime” juice that adds a zesty element and perfectly complements the sweetness of the brew.
To further test the capabilities of this Waka No Megumi Sudachi, we decided to mix the sake with a few splashes of vodka. With this being my first-time mixing sake with another liquor, I had no idea what to expect. I grabbed a glass, put three ice cubes in and poured in half a glass of sudachi sake and three splashes of Smirnoff vodka. It was quickly apparent that the vodka was the perfect complement to this fruity tasting brew. The Smirnoff not only enhanced the vibrant citrus flavoring but added a more typical alcohol taste to the equation as well.
Overall, the tasting party was very surprised at the smoothness and citrusy notes that the Waka No Megumi Sake had to offer. The orange-like hue of the liquid itself is cleverly packaged in a clear and narrow bottle and would be the perfect beverage to pair with Japanese or Mexican cuisine and a variety of desserts.