There are a lot of different factors that go into what I decide to drink on any particular day. Cost is obviously one factor. My mood, the weather, my dinner if I’m pairing, the event…you get the idea. Here are my sake “go-tos” that have remained true to me over the years. Some are for every day drinking and others are for special occasions. It was hard to just pick 6.
Kokuryu Black Dragon – Junmai Ginjo ($40). One of my absolute favorites! It has several unique layers that you don’t find in many sakes. Deeper layers, coffee and nutty tones, but not too rich or heavy. A great Ginjo for Junmai lovers.
Ura Gasanryu “Koka” – Honjozo ($27). I love not only the price, but also the feel of this sake. It is very easy, light and smooth. When I want a clean sake that isn’t too creamy in taste, this is my staple.
Taiheikai “Pacific Ocean: – Tokubetsu Junmai ($30). Another favorite that speaks to me when I want something a little more savory. Again, many layers to this one, a medium viscosity and very smooth and tasty. Great for food pairing, and wonderful drinking alone as well.
Born Gold – Muroka Junmai Daiginjo ($38). This one is always a crowd pleaser and I enjoy it for many reasons. For a daiginjo it is quite affordable, and I love it because it’s a daiginjo that’s neither too fruity nor sweet. It is super balanced, round and has a great mouth feel that leaves you wanting more.
Dassai 39 – Junmai Daiginjo ($50). I’ve just recently fallen in love with this one, as it is not one I can afford all the time on my budget. Fortunately, they’ve just come out with this sake in a smaller bottle! But you have to be really nice to me if you want me to share. This one is quite lovely. Gentle, smooth, with hints of maybe pear or apple tones. It is nice and light with nuances that come out with each sip.
Tamanohikari Reishu – Junmai Ginjo ($7). There are so many reasons why I love this little 300ml box of sake. Price, yes. Packaging, absolutely. I sent this to myself on a 220-mile backpacking trip through the Sierras and it was such a treat! Also great for baseball games and gifts! But all that aside, it also tastes very good. If you like a more “ricey,” semi-dry sake then this one’s for you. You can freeze this one and make a sake slushy out of it as well, which honestly I haven’t done yet, but I plan to try it one day. It’s fun, tastes great, affordable, and packable! What more do you need?
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