The Kyoto Shinbun has a very brief report of a new product from Gekkeikan – a non-alcoholic, no-carbohydrate drink modelled on daiginjō sake. The Fushimi, Kyoto-based brewery release their new “Special Free” on 26 August 2019.

It comes in a 245 ml bottle, with no recommended retail price. It has the same fruity aroma as a daiginjō and a blend of amino acids that give it depth of flavour.

The Gekkeikan site lists Special Free and also NEW Free, which is a triple “no” – no alcohol, no carbs and no calories. The footnotes clarify that any food product with less than 0.5 g carbs per 100 ml can be called “no carb”, and if it has less than 5 kcal per 100 ml it can be called “no calorie”.

Gekkeikan credit their ability to extract all the aroma and flavour of sake out of its raw materials while leaving the alcohol, carbs and calories behind to their proprietary brewing techniques. The site also says you can serve the sake-a-like drink in any way you would serve sake – cool, room temperature or hot, and even on the rocks it won’t suffer from dilution.

A non-alcoholic Gekkeikan Free went on the market in September 2014, followed in September 2015 by a new version with no alcohol, carbs or calories. The August 2019 version has a specifically daiginjō-like aroma and flavour.

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