Who knew Japanese sake and figure skating would score a perfect 10?
Japanese sake, or nihonshu in the local language, is a celebrated spirit made from fermented rice. This means that the better the rice, the better the sake. Akita prefecture has one of the best tasting rice in the country called Akita Komachi, but with so many breweries in the area the best ingredients are sometimes not enough.
However the Ginrin brewery, established in 1871, seems to have figured out a special technique that has got their sake flying off the shelves. As of May 2016 Ginrin started using a large rotating drill to smash, pulverize, and break up the rice.
▼ The process is appropriate named kurukuru (“spinning”).
You can watch it in action here.
This new rice stirring method as well as years of sake brewing techniques has created a really popular pair of nihonshu. Their 400 bottles of muroka sake (unfiltered) sold out in two weeks, and the 600 bottles of hiire sake (pasteurized) sold out within a month
▼ A photo of kurukuru (“spinning”) nihonshu.
Note the spinning vortex on the bottle!
And this year, Ginrin is taking the kurukuru line to its natural next step. Aside from just vortexes, what else spins a lot? How about a figure skater? Ginrin has brewed a set of four types of sake named after jump combination sequences in figure skating.
▼ There’s the Single Lutz, Double Toe Loop,
Triple Axel, and Quadruple Salchow.
In February and April a limited number of bottles of the Single Lutz and Double Toe Loop were shipped and quickly sold out. Those who are looking to partake in some figure skating jump sake should be on the lookout for bottles of Triple Axel that will go on sale in July. The Quad Salchow won’t be sold until September of this year.
▼ Bottles of the Single Lutz.
Any bottle of Japanese sake can be a special one, so why not make it skating inspired? There is probably no better fitting drink for a night of watching figure skating anime Yuri!!! on Ice. Just make sure to drink and spin responsibly!