The Mainichi Shinbun newpaper reports on a collaboration between the Hakushika range from the Tatsuuma-Honke brewery and food giant Kikkoman to produce a “Red Hakushika” cocktail that uses tomato juice to complement the umami in sake. (Hakushika means “white deer”.) The drink is being offered at Kikkoman-run restaurants all over the country.
Brewery owner Kenji Tatsuuma says that he had never really drunk tomato juice before, but recently has been drinking Red Hakushika every night. Tatsuuma visited the island of Ibiza in Spain, famous for its drinking culture, and saw cocktails that would never occur to someone with Japanese sensibilities. After returning to Japan, he developed sake-based cocktails like the Red Hakushika and Ibiza Shot and served them at pop-up bars and club events.
The sake and tomato juice should be in a 1:1 ratio, but the restaurants can adjust this at their discretion. Their Hakushika Classic costs 580 JPY per glass.