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If you’ve left your sake for longer than the one week Yoshinari Baba suggests in his Daily Portal Z article, what can you do?

If the sake has moved down and left on the SSI two-axis graph (see How long can you leave an open bottle of sake?) and lost some of its aroma and flavour (which the Japanese expresses as “gone light” or karuku-natta 軽くなった)  he has some suggestions.

Baba emphasises that the sake is still perfectly drinkable even if it has lost some flavour and aroma, but if you feel too much is missing to enjoy drinking it there are some things you can try. While you might think of using it for cooking, he has another suggestion – bolstering it with some well-paired food.

Once you’ve identified with is missing from the sake, there are three possibilities to fill that gap:

  1. choose a food with the missing taste
  2. choose a food with a taste complementary to the missing one
  3. choose a food with a taste contrasting with the missing one.

So, not that different from pairing!

One example Baba gives is gari, the thinly-sliced sweet pickled ginger normally served with sushi as a palate cleanser. It supplies both sweetness and acidity to make up for missing elements in the sake.

Another suggestion is serving with tofu topped with some sesame oil, plenty of chopped spring onion and a bit of soy sauce to give it depth of flavour and umami.

To gain some acidity, put equal measures of sake and soda water in a glass filled with ice and add lemon juice to taste, and you can also add some watermelon or pineapple.