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Leftovers - What to do with that last bit of sake

Leftovers - A guest post by Mariko Tajiri

I have a confession. I am a food hoarder. In my fridge is a collection of bits of expired condiments I’ve collected over the years from different cities I’ve visited, way past their “expiry date”. Expiry dates are for amateurs in my opinion but even I have to admit that seeing some brined sansho peppercorns in my mom’s fridge from 2013 gave me a little worry and glimpse of what’s to come. (Note: they were very tasty and no stomach aches)

Even more problematic to those who have to share fridge space with me are the sake bottles that occupy valuable real estate. There’s no room for that third jar of artisanal olives because I refuse to get rid of the little bits of sake leftover from the Zoom hangout from last month (or was it 2 months ago?).

In order to justify my habits, I’ve put together a few recipes for the last few splashes of leftover sake that might be a little tired and need a little awakening. They’re extremely easy and open to variation depending on what you’ve got around and your taste. I refuse to call them cocktails or name them but you do you and call them whatever Sanrio character or Miyazaki film you like!

Sake & Soda

You can use club soda, tonic or any flavour you enjoy. Fever Tree has some pretty ones like Lavender that sound delicious. I had some Stappj white bitters around (they’re non-alcoholic with liquorice-y, bitter flavours and some carbonation) and added a squeeze of lemon.

You can try different ratios but I did: 2 parts sake, 1 part sparkling bitters, squeeze of lemon over ice. Feel free to add ginger slices, yuzu zest, maybe some elderflower liqueur?

Sake & Tea

Warm your sake to around 50 degrees celsius and pour over tea leaves. I suggest a lighter tea like green tea or herbal teas like Chrysanthemum. You can also do a cold brew method and leave the sake and tea in the fridge over night. Serve it warm or chilled.

Sake & Coffee

Same idea as the tea infusion above or you can make coffee ice cubes and pour sake on top. Apretty ginjo style or nigori for a creamier drink. You can also use decaf coffee. (**This idea is straight from Marie Chiba’s Instagram, which is an endless source of inspiration).

Adding soda and ice the sake livens it up with some bubbles and dilutes it just a little. It’s kind of like the Japanese whisky highball idea. Just enough of the other ingredients to highlight the whisky or in this case, sake.


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