ASK BEAU – “Should I Serve Sake on Valentine’s Day?”
Ah yes! It’s “THAT” time of year, the time for lovers and those looking for some loving. I recently received an email from Stacy R, who lives in Philadelphia and asked a very intriguing yet obvious question: “I have a hot date for V-day, and this guy only likes beer, should I try to get him to have some sake?” Stacy I think that you know the answer already – if you want to get lucky get the rice and water flowing.
After countless hours of in-depth research I have finally concluded that sake is an aphrodisiac in every sense of the word. What? Come on how in the world did you ever come to that conclusion? It’s true and the facts speak for themselves. Well actually in this case the facts are just a fact (singular). And to be more precise my “countless hours” of research were in fact a ten-minute conversation with a guy who knew a guy. But hey that’s scientific enough these days by modern poling and research standards right?
Okay okay! It’s not as bad as it sounds, because the first “guy” just so happens to be Izumihiko Masuda the 12th generation owner of Tsukinokatsura brewery in Fushimi just outside of Kyoto proper. He owns a brilliant kura (brewery) as well as the best moustache in the sake brewing world. Now the other “guy” happened to be an 80 year-old friend of Masuda-san’s father who is very close with the kura, but never drank their sake. One day he visited the brewery and took home a bottle of Nigori sake, which this brewery is famous for. (In fact they re-engineered the modern nigori movement 41 years ago that made nigori sake legal again.) The day after the surprising visit Mr. Masuda’s phone rang and it was the older gentleman on the other end. The first words out of his mouth were “thank you.” The second through eighteenth words out of his mouth were “thank you.” Confused Masuda-san said “you’re welcome by why are you thanking me?” To which the older gentleman in a hushed voice said that he had not made love to his wife in 21 years. But that had changed the night before when “some magic” made him want to “dance.” I concluded it was the sake!
And that in a nutshell is proof positive that sake is an aphrodisiac. Who needs more concrete evidence than that? (Actually I do have a collaborating voice in my older brother who swears that sake is indeed a gifted beverage!) The bottom line is that there is some magic in sake. Like all boozes it thins the blood and causes a touch of euphoria, but there is more. There is a secret layer of “feel good” that no other libation can quite obtain. The trick is to get to the “feel good” level with a person who really floats your boat.
In a word sake is exotic. And exotic is almost spelled the same way as erotic. Proof again that sake is a libation to be reckoned with on V-day. But you still need more? Well have you ever heard of a Geisha? Hmmmmm What beverages are the Geisha’s known for pouring? Now we are getting closer. We are closing in on the precise reason that sake is liquid love. Should we review? An 80 year-old-man, my older brother, euphoria, Geishas, do you need any more than that? Hmmmmm? Let’s not touch on the simplicity of inhibitions or the lack thereof. Let’s also not go on about the whole Time, Place and Occasion of the Day of “Hallmark” Love. Rather let’s focus on the ability of a fermented rice beverage to create the perfect storm of chemical reactions in your brain and heart to throw out the “animal signal,” “the mating call,” or “the call to lust.” In plain English “Sake Works.” Who cares why? It is an aphrodisiac until proven otherwise.
Please send your sake specific questions to askbeau2 @ truesake.com. (This address is not for general questions and I only review the questions once per month. All other correspondence should use info @ truesake.com.)