Cool sake is hot. Once thought of as a traditional, ceremonial Japanese beverage served warm in small ceramic cups, today’s sake is more often chilled to a temperature almost as cold as white wine, poured into a wine glass and sipped with fervor. Microbrews? Been there. Single malt scotch? Done that. Looking for the latest chic among connoisseurs of drink? Make it sake.
Neither wine nor beer nor distilled spirit, sake is made from a rice called sakamai, pure water and koji (steamed rice cultivated with a special mold). The sakamai is milled to remove bran and exterior solids. The more the rice is milled, the finer the sake it produces. Of the three main types of sake, Junmai-shu has about 30 percent of the rice’s exterior removed; Ginjo-shu has about 40 percent removed; and Daiginjo-shu has at least 50 percent removed. (Since these terms are transliterated from Japanese, spellings on labels may differ slightly.) The rice is steam-cooked, mixed with yeast and koji and fermented.After about a month, the mash is pressed, filtered and blended. It then rests for about six months before being released to market.
There are no vintage dates on sake. Stored well (in a cool, dark place), it should remain fresh for at least six months.As for color, sake ranges from almost transparent to golden amber for the fuller-flavored versions. If it is dark amber or brown, it is past its prime. Sake’s alcohol content is generally between 15 percent and 17 percent, compared to 11.5 percent to 14 percent for most table wine. Like wine connoisseurs, sake enthusiasts talk about the drink’s fragrance, balance and acidity, as well as its range from simple to complex, from light- to full-bodied, from dry to sweet.
A number of Japan’s breweries import sake to the United States, and there are some fine sake breweries in this country. A standard 720 milliliter bottle of sake (wine’s standard bottle is 750 milliliters), averages about $20 to $40 for the Junmai-shu type. Other types cost more.
Chill it, or warm it as most Japanese still do. Drink it with seafood, hors d’oeuvres, light
dishes and, of course, with sushi and other Japanese foods. Use it in mixed drinks.Try a saketini (vodka and sake). Best of all, drink it neat. Enjoy the unique qualities and savor the flavors of this new and old epicurean delight.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.