Dusting Off Sake's Image, Smile Nihonshu Events Attract Younger Crowd

Melinda Joe in Events spur on a new generation of sake drinkers (Japan Times, July 23) tells us how fans and young producers alike are dusting off sake's image.

They stage regular Smile Nihonshu events in laid-back settings like Bar Open or the Reggae Bar in Tokyo.

In her article Melinda Joe notes that "when asked to describe the typical sake consumer, brewers invariably sigh and say that the majority are men between the ages of 45 and 70" and shares Hacchaku Ono, the Smile Nihonshu event organizer's remedies to stop the drink's decline:

"Sake has changed a lot, but its image hasn't," he observes. "The image is kind of posh and stuffy, but young people don't generally have a lot of money and they feel that there aren't places for them to enjoy sake. We wanted to create a casual atmosphere where people can try good stuff at low prices."

Those of us who cannot make the trip to Tokyo can get an education via Tokyofoodcast and their Sake of the Week feature.

For # 49, they chose Kozaemon Yuzu which they describe as "Kozaemon nihonshu blended with the pungent yuzu citrus juice from Kochi" and "a very light, summer drink".

In the New York area, check tasting events at Sakaya. The next one is a Dassai Sake tasting from 5 to 7 PM on Saturday, July 31, 2010.

Back on the Sake Trail for Tokyo Thursdays # 150

Previously: Food Sake Tokyo, A Guide to Japanese Terroir for Visiting Foodies

(* illustration comes from Tokyofoodcast Sake of the Week # 49 piece)

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