Somewhere around 6 pm on a summer day – or any day - is when I get thirsty for a cold grown-up drink- I usually stick to chilled rosè or light refreshing whites like pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, and my recent favorite, gruner veltliner, to sip while I cook dinner. It’s a relaxing ritual, and I find myself looking forward to it daily – sometimes a little too much if you know what I mean (and I think you do!).
I’ve been known to sling cold summer cocktails every now and again, though, and the other night I decided to experiment with sake.
I like the idea of using sake in place of a hard liquor like vodka or gin – I’d rather drink a cocktail without feeling the toxic effects of high-proof alcohol, which is sometimes too much for me. Sake can contain a little more alcohol than wine; about 15% or more by volume, but that’s still less than distilled liquor.
Sake also has a lightly sweet, delicate nature that plays nicely with things you might want to mix it with, like fruit juices, liqueurs and fresh herbal infusions.
I wouldn’t use an expensive, premium sake to make a cocktail, since you’ll be missing its finer qualities, not to mention that the sake purists out there would cringe – just use what you can find for less than $20 a bottle.