National Sake Day is coming!
The culinary holiday lands on Oct. 1, and I for one am thrilled to have a whole day to celebrate the delightfully smooth, easy to drink fermented rice booze that tastes amazing mixed in cocktails or on its own, whether hot or cold.
Want to go out and celebrate? A few spots are having festivities for the occasion. Head to restaurants like Roku and Katana, located in West Hollywood, California (Katana also has a location in Chicago), and seize the day.
Roku will be offering half off sake flights, while Katana will have Sake Crackings and a gong going off at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. that night, at which times guests will receive free small sake samples! Sounds like fun!
Of course, sake is also a fabulous mixer, considering that it usually has a gentle, smooth flavor with tasting notes ranging from tropical to floral to earthy. It plays incredibly well with others, so feel free to whip up some delightful cocktails! Here are some of my favorites:
Wine and wine, basically. A match made in heaven! This tasty mint cocktail is light, fresh and diet-friendly, though if you'd rather avoid the stevia in the recipe, you can mix in simple syrup, honey or your favorite sweetener to taste.
Bright lemon, pungently fresh yuzu, sweet floral honey and smooth sake combine for a delightfully elegant sipper.
As weird as it sounds, zucchini water brings a beautifully subtle and sweetly earthy touch to this fresh lemon drink that perfectly accentuates sake's gently fragrant fruitiness.
Not sure what to do with your sake? Why not infuse it with Thai basil and mix that with kaffir lime leaf simple syrup? (Can't find kaffir lime leaves? Use equal parts lemon and lime zest -- more info here.) Bonus: The recipe page has a bunch of other cocktails with Thai flavors, should you prefer pepper-infused tequila or toasted coconut rum, for instance.
This light, bubbly drink riffs just perfectly on sake's sweeter, fruity notes. The drink is a bit tart, but if you prefer it sweeter, add in simple syrup or swap out the club soda and vanilla extract for cream soda.