Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. There are several types of sake available in the market, and one of the most popular and unique types is Nigori sake. Nigori sake, also known as unfiltered or cloudy sake, is a creamy, sweet, and full-bodied sake that is distinct from other types of sake. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into nigori sake, its history, production process, flavour profile, serving suggestions, and other interesting facts.
History of Nigori Sake
Nigori sake has a rich history that dates back to ancient times in Japan. It is said that Nigori Sake was first produced in the Nara period (710-794 AD) when people used to drink unrefined and unfiltered sake that had bits of rice and yeast suspended in it. The early Nigori Sake was also referred to as "doburoku," which means "muddy sake." It was a popular drink among farmers and peasants, who would often make it at home for their own consumption.
In the Edo period (1603-1868 AD), the production of Nigori Sake was regulated, and it became a popular drink among the common people. During this period, Nigori sake was made by mixing the sake lees (sediment left after pressing) with fresh sake, resulting in a thick and cloudy appearance. However, after World War II, the production of Nigori Sake declined due to the increasing popularity of filtered and refined sake. It wasn't until the 1960s that Nigori Sake made a comeback and regained its popularity in Japan and around the world.
The production process of Nigori sake is similar to that of other types of sake, but with a few unique differences. Nigori sake is made from polished rice, which is washed, steamed, and cooled before being mixed with koji (a type of mold used in fermentation) and water to create a mash. The mash is then fermented for about four weeks, and the resulting sake is pressed to remove the liquid from the solids.
However, unlike other types of sake, Nigori Sake is not filtered, and the sake lees (sediment) are not completely removed during pressing. This results in a cloudy appearance and a thicker, creamier texture. Some producers may add back some of the sake lees to the final product to enhance the flavour and texture.
Nigori sake has a unique flavour profile that is different from other types of sake. It has a creamy, milky texture and a sweet, fruity flavour that is often described as having hints of coconut, vanilla, and banana. The flavour and aroma of Nigori Sake can vary depending on the type of rice, water, and yeast used in the production process, as well as the degree of filtration.
Nigori sake is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It can be served chilled, at room temperature, or warmed, depending on personal preference. It pairs well with a wide range of dishes, including sushi, sashimi, grilled meats, and spicy foods. Some people also enjoy mixing Nigori sake with fruit juice or soda to create a refreshing cocktail. Our tip: avoid using glassware when serving Nigori has its creamy texture will leave remains on the glass, which is not the most esthetic look.
Nigori is a unique and delicious drink that has a rich history and a distinct flavour profile. Its creamy texture, sweet flavour, and cloudy appearance make it a popular choice among sake enthusiasts and foodies alike. Whether you are new to sake or a seasoned connoisseur, Nigori Sake is definitely worth trying.