The world is full of fascinating drinks. Beverages that go hand in hand with the stories and histories of different cultures and a perfect example is Japanese sake. Versatile, delicious and accessible, sake has lots of enjoyable qualities and in the UK, the majority of sake activity is concentrated in London. But the capital isn’t the only sake game in town.
Meanwhile, the Japanese food scene in Manchester continues to go from strength to strength with loads of tasty concepts that involve finding the meaning of life at the bottom of a bowl of ramen or elevating sushi to new heights.
Among these restaurants and bars, you’ll find plenty of great sake and this guide will take you on a voyage across Manchester in search of what to try and buy.
Over the years, the sake scene in the UK has got stronger, with most activity concentrated in London. This progress is gradually expanding out from the capital and Sam Boulton is one of the key movers.
The owner of Birmingham sake bar, Shibuya Underground, Boulton is keen to bring more awareness to nihonshu, shochu and awamori to UK consumers. He’s also a man after my own heart by being interested in a variety of obscure drinks that deserve more recognition.
The world of sake is made up of interesting folks who’ve dedicated themselves to keeping the rich history of Japan’s native drink alive. Folks who’re leaving their own unique mark and something very special is going on at the Miyoshikiku brewery in Tokushima Prefecture.
Meet Mamiya Ryōichirō, the 5th generation head of the Miyoshikiku brewery. A born RocknRolla with a taste for out of the box sake and a man I had the pleasure of interviewing alongside Kyoko Nagano.
The sake industry is filled with people who’re passionate about keeping Japan’s native drink alive domestically and overseas. Kyoko Nagano is one of those champions and works with small sake breweries all over Japan to spread the good word of nihonshu.
It was a pleasure to speak to Kyoko about her sake experiences and she’s got a lot of great information to share.
Being in a bar or a restaurant is transformative. Venues like that are an intersection of new cultures, communication, excitement and storytelling. Drinks play a vital role in creating these experiences, with Japanese drinks like sake and shochu elevating nights out, intimate lunches and conversations with friends.
Sake is one of my favourite drinks. But it’s not the only thing that floats my boat. I’m pleased to announce the launch of Drink To That, a newsletter for imbibing knowledge, celebrating the hospitality industry and providing content marketing tips for drink brands.
In terms of ingredients, shochu may well be the most diverse spirit on the planet. Japan’s best kept secret can be made from lots of unusual substances. I’ve gravitated to more niche varieties of shochu and Tantakatan shiso comfortably sits in that camp.
A shochu with a fishy tale behind it, there’s a lot to enjoy about this delightful drink.
Travelling to Japan can have a transformative effect, inspiring people to start careers firmly rooted in their love of The Land Of The Rising Sun. For Tracey Delaney, the opportunity to represent her school and go to Japan sparked a life-long appreciation for the country.
Since then she’s become a global ambassador, a sake sommelier and provided support to the UK’s first sparkling sake brewery. Read on to find out more about Tracey’s story.
The sake industry is filled with a passionate community of folks who love spreading the good word of nihonshu. Being a part of it has put me in touch with so many great people and it’s been a pleasure to chat to Giulia Maglio, AKA Jiji Sake.
Giulia is a sake sommelier, writer and podcast host dedicated to spreading the love of sake throughout Italy, Japan and beyond. In this interview, we talk about her experiences in Japan, her latest projects and where she sees the sake industry going.