Summer has slipped away, and we’re making our way towards the cooler, crisper months of autumn and winter. Even though the heat is still with us, it won’t be long before we’re cozying up to the kotatsu.
In preparation for the colder months, consider stocking up on this selection of special seasonal sake from one of the world’s oldest sake manufacturers Gekkeikan, which taste just as good – or arguably even better – when they’re warmed up as when they’re cold.

Scorched Caramel

The newest addition to the lineup, Gekkeikan’s Scorched Caramel liquor goes down smoothly. The drink’s moderate sweetness and bittersweet aftertaste will leave any treat lover craving for more.
The flavour can be adjusted depending on the drink’s temperature, with the sweet notes being particularly prominent when warm.

Add a dash of brandy to bring out the mellow aroma of ‘burnt caramel’, or divide the drink with soy milk for a rich and flavourful beverage.
As well as pairing with standard snacks such as nuts, Gekkeikan recommends trying the drink with anpan, as the sake accentuates the sweet flavours of the red bean paste.

Sweet Lemon

If you’re a massive sweet tooth, then this sweet and sour liquor resembling lemonade will win you over. If you’ve ever had hot lemon and honey then you’ll be well aware that heating up any drink with the citrus will really bring out it’s thick sweetness.

A spoonful of honey and a couple of slices of ginger will transform this winter warmer into something resembling the traditional cold-symptom reducer. Alternatively, by melting some cream cheese into the drink, you can replicate the flavour of a lemon-scented rare cheese cake.
For an extra sugary edge, Gekkeikan recommends pairing the drink with a spoon of vanilla ice cream.

Baked Apples

You can’t get more traditional in winter than sitting by a fire with a mug full of piping hot mulled apple cinnamon. Whilst getting a log fire going in Japan is much easier said than done, at the very least you can replicate the drink.
This mellow dessert-style liquor is bursting with the flavour of baked apples and the aromatic sensation of mixed spices and caramel. When warmed, the cinnamon and apple flavours are boosted and will leave any tastebud thinking it must be christmas day.

A few drops of rum will increase the rich sweetness of caramel and flavour of grilled apples. For those who want a deeper flavour, Gekkeikan suggests adding a sprinkle of cracked black pepper and a couple of cinnamon sticks.

Each of the drinks will be available to pick up nationwide at stores stocking Gekkeikan beverages from the 21st of September 2021, and will remain available until the 31st of March 2022.
The bottles are 720ml in capacity, and contain a liquor content of 13%. Each bottle will be available for 980 yen (plus tax).

By - Connie Sceaphierde.