Sake: Water from Heaven

Overview

Saké, the Japanese wine distilled from rice and an essential part of Japanese culture for more than 2,000 years, is suddenly becoming one of the hippest alcoholic beverages in in the U. S. and abroad. The current rise of saké bars and saké-influenced drinks such as the sakétini are delicious evidence of this newly gained popularity.

Despite this newfound buzz, most Westerners know very little about this ...

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Overview

Saké, the Japanese wine distilled from rice and an essential part of Japanese culture for more than 2,000 years, is suddenly becoming one of the hippest alcoholic beverages in in the U. S. and abroad. The current rise of saké bars and saké-influenced drinks such as the sakétini are delicious evidence of this newly gained popularity.

Despite this newfound buzz, most Westerners know very little about this traditional drink.
There are more varieties of saké than there are of red and white wines combined.
Saké is supposed to be served chilled. Only low-grade saké is heated, mainly to hide the inferior quality of the drink. In Japan, saké is rarely served with sushi, which is ironic as most Americans who drink saké only drink it with sushi.

Rocky Aoki, the founder of the famous Benihana and Haru restaurants examines how the rice is grown and brewed, supplies fascinating background and history of saké in Japanese culture, describes the different varieties of saké, discusses which sakés should accompany different types of foods, and where one can purchase saké. With the same zest that he has brought to his phenomenally successful Benihana chain, which introduced the world to Japanese cuisine, Aoki will share the joy of saké.

Also included is an extensive appendix guide to 100 brands of saké that are commonly found in the United States and are considered the most popular brands based on quality, price, and availability.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789308474
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 3/19/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rocky Aoki founded the Benihana restaurant chain which has 100 restaurants worldwide. Rocky is also the proprietor of the sushi franchise Haru, which has four outposts in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Foreword By Nobu Matsuhisa
     Opening a restaurant is always a gamble. No matter how hard you work and how much planning you put into it, there's always the possibility that you will fall flat on your face. And when you try to do it in a foreign culture, then it becomes that much more risky. But there's certainly no one less afraid of taking risks than Rocky Aoki, as not only did he open one of the first Japanese restaurants in America, but he literally risked his life over and over again racing power boats and flying balloons, so it's fitting that he should have attained such a level of success.
It's because of Rocky's example that I decided to travel out of Japan to open my restaurants. His success in America gave me the confidence to follow in his footsteps, and for that I'll always be grateful to him. And while I'm not quite the risk-taker that Rocky is outside of the kitchen, I'm certainly well known for taking risks when it comes to preparing food.
     One of the obstacles that both Rocky and I had to overcome is that Americans tend not to take risks when it comes to eating. Many Americans will stick to meat and potatoes day in and day out. Luckily for both us, there are enough adventuresome souls who are willing to try something different that we've been able to thrive. Now Rocky is trying to get Americans to put aside their cans of beer and soda and try a beverage that is very special. I've done my part introducing saké to the patrons of Nobu, but with this book Rocky is reaching out to a much broader audience. The one thing I can tell you is that by trying saké for yourself, you're not taking any risk whatsoever.
I love Rocky's title for this book, Water From Heaven, because that's a great description of this incredible brew. Saké blends so well with so many different cuisines that it makes it an ideal drink to accompany not only the unconventional food that I serve at Nobu, but just about any meal you can imagine. Once you've read this book and know how to choose the right saké and serve it properly, a whole new universe will open up to you. So Rocky and I both congratulate you for being willing to learn about our beloved saké and if you see either one of us at one of our restaurants, don't forget to pick up your glass of saké and salute us with a hearty kampai.
Nobu Matsuhisa
May 2002

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