News agency Jiji reports on a sake bar's seasonal menu celebrating spring in the form of "sakura x masu chocolate" and "haruzake" (spring sake).
The Kura no Ya sake bar in Tokyo's Shinbashi district has a special spring menu from 27 March to 30 April that includes a limited edition spring special Dassai cherry blossom chocolate, served in a masu box.
White couverture chocolate is combined with Dassai sake to produce a sophisticated treat. Pink shavings cover a rich, intense mousse with a smooth mouthfeel. There's a gentle hint of cherry blossom to highlight the season. The "secret ingredient" Dassai produces an aroma of sake that brings the dessert to a new level of sophistication. Limited edition cherry blossom and standard versions cost JPY 659 before tax.
The bar is also offering a time-limited cherry blossom sake sangria with seasonal fruit. Mixing the sweetness and acidity of fruit is (once again) positioned to attract women who are blindly assumed to know nothing about sake (le sigh) or to provide an "easy to drink" option for anyone new to sake. Allegedly very popular. The limited edition flavour for March and April is cherry blossom, with petals floating in the drink and a sweet-and-sour combination of fruit. JPY 649 before tax.
The third element of the lineup is freshly-brewed sake that are only available at this time of year, including finely sparkling, nigori (unfiltered) and a slightly hazy style known as origarami. This sake is so newly pressed that fine particles of rice or yeast haven't yet had the time to settle, which is part of the normal process to clarify the newly-brewed liquid.
Their line-up includes:
- Ozawa brewery Jukyu Sakura Le cerisier rose m'apport
- Ryujin Oze no Yukidoke junmai daiginjō nama momo-iro ("peach-coloured"/pink) nigori
- Kariho Haru Kawasemi junmai ginjō nama
- Biwa no Sasarai Haru junmai daiginjō nama
- Kamokinshu Sakura Fubuki usu-nigori nama
- Yamamoto pink junmai ginjō Ukiuki
Each one will set you back JPY 599, or you can try three for JPY 999 and five for JPY 1,499 (before tax).