Sparkling sake is increasingly well established on the U.K. drinking scene, having won the attention of sake fans and the wider drinks industry alike. Shirakabegura Mio Sparkling Sake, made from rice and koji (rice malt), is a softly acidic and deliciously refreshing fizz, packed with fruity bubbles. Its natural sweetness is the result of a careful fermentation process, meaning there’s no need for added sugar or sweetener. Mio is low in alcohol, too, at just 5% ABV. Mio Sparkling Sake is a star of the burgeoning U.K. sparkling sake market, thanks in no small part to its versatility: try chilled as an aperitif, paired with fresh, salty starters, or as a dessert beverage to complement fresh fruit or tangy sorbet.
- 150g cream cheese, softened
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- 50g Kalamata olives, pitted
- 50g sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 French baguette
- 40g feta cheese, crumbled
- Handful of rocket
- Mix the cream cheese, minced garlic, and chopped dill in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Roughly chop the Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Slice the baguette diagonally, into thick slices, and lightly toast the slices until they are light brown on both sides.
- Spread the cream cheese on the toast slices.
- Top with the Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and rocket.
Surprise guests with an unusual aperitif
Shirakabegura Mio Sparkling Sake is the perfect bubbly to enjoy with a fresh and fruity dessert. Try with this simply sensational Blackberry Eton Mess for a sparkling summery treat. Add 200g blackberries, 40g caster sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 80ml water to a pan, bring to the boil, simmer on low until the fruit is soft, then blitz in a blender and strain. Whip 400ml double cream to soft peaks. Break 4 meringue nests into pieces. Divide 200g fresh blackberries among 4 glasses, then layer up with meringue pieces, blackberry purée, and double cream.
Other premium sake: Kimoto Junmai is brewed through a traditional labour-intensive technique, known as kimoto, which makes this sake complex, with a fragrant and melon-rich nose that develops into a soft and medium bodied palate with a good balance of acidity. Daiginjo Muroka Genshu is a non-charcoal filtered daiginjo brewed at a cool temperature, with hints of apple and a smooth flavour. Kimoto Ginjo has a delicate ginjo aroma and is easy drinking.
WHERE TO BUY
Available at Japanese/Oriental grocery stores. Also available at certain Japanese restaurants. Click here for buyer contacts.