The Sankei News reports on a new fruit-based sake liqueur, this time using a variety of grape. Perfect for when you can't choose between sake and wine?
Taikan Shuzō in the city of South Alps [I had no idea there was a city called that] in Yamanashi Prefecture released it as a new product in their lineup on 15 October 2018.
The grape variety is the popular Shine Muscat, an early maturing variety cross-bred in Japan for flavour and texture.
The liqueur will cost JPY 1,500 (excluding tax) for 500 ml and was released from 17 October 2018 to Yamanashi department stores sake retailers and on Taikan's own site. The brewery also plans to export some of the estimated 2,000 bottles to China and Hong Kong.
Taikan used local Yamadanishiki to brew a junmaishu, then took locally grown Shine Muscat harvested in the summer, froze and crushed them to extract juice, and added it to the jumaishu.
The liqueur is just 8% abv, and has a fresh aroma and flavour with refreshing mouthfeel and acidity. The brewery recommend it on the rocks or with tonic.
A local grower who exported Shine Muscat asked Brewery owner Yoshinobu Ōzawa in November 2017 if there was any way the grapes could be used with sake, and he took up the challenge. He emphasised that the blending ratio of sake and juice was crucial, but the blend had positive feedback in Thailand and Taiwan at tastings held in the summer.