Whether you’re partial to the odd Studio Ghibli movie or have the entire Shonen Knife back catalogue on your iPod, the one thing that unites all Japanophiles is a taste for sake.
Also read: Hyper Japan set to come to the O2 .
The rice wine has been brewed in Japan for centuries, with hundreds of varieties now available. In celebration of Japan’s national drink, a series of special sake-tasting events will take place at The O2’s Hyper Japan Festival.
Here is our guide to some of the best sakes on offer:
1. Ise no Hana, 15% ABV
Fresh and clean summer sake with a melon-skin bitterness on the short finish. Best with barbecued fish, mussels or lobster.
2. Kotsuzumi Rojo Hana Ari Aoi, 17% ABV
Hints of white chocolate, vanilla and banana make this sake perfect for rich savoury foods such as Parmesan cheese and creamy seafood.
3. Umenoyado Yuzushu, 8% ABV
Perfect if you’re not much of a drinker. The low-alcohol liqueur is made from fresh citrus juice and sake. Tastes great poured over ice cream.
4. Sake Suzune Wabim, 5% ABV
If you like to sparkle, this may be the drink for you. The silky-smooth bubbles are characteristic of second bottle fermentation combine with a fruity aroma.
5. Ikezo Peach Jelly Sake, 5% ABV
One for the left-field types. Lightly carbonated, low alcohol, and packed with tiny jelly balls bursting with sweetness to make a unique texture.
Sake tasting takes place on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. Day tickets for the three-day festival are still available .