The Star’s Signature Japanese Dining Venues Say Kanpai To Sake

As Japan’s cherished pour for over 2500 years, bartenders from The Star’s signature Japanese dining venues, Sokyo and Kiyomi, share the history of this iconic cultural beverage and cocktail recipes in celebration of World Sake Day.

Rooted in history, sake has been a cherished pour in Japan for over 2500 years. Finally in 1978, sake gained its very own World Sake Day on 1st October to recognise all things sake and its contributions to Japanese culture.

Here, Joe Garcia Assistant Manager at Sokyo, The Star Sydney’s signature Japanese dining venue and Kobi Kocbek-Hailes, Food and Beverage Supervisor at Kiyomi, The Star Gold Coast share the history of sake and recipes to cocktails made to honour Japan’s signature alcoholic beverage.

Joe Garcia, Assistant Manager at Sokyo
Joe Garcia, Assistant Manager at Sokyo

Garcia explains, “Made from four key ingredients, rice, water, koji (rice mould) and yeast, sake uses a similar fermentation and filtration process to that of wine and beer. The rice undergoes special polishing to remove its outer layers and the more the grain is polished, the higher the quality of sake it produces. A long and detailed process, families traditionally hand down unique recipes from generation to generation.”

“At Sokyo we love the intersection where art meets ritual so we’ve taken inspiration from premium sake producer, Hakkaisan to curate the cocktail we are calling The Sake Garden’s Delight.”

Garcia adds, “With a fresh and light mix of flavours, The Sake Garden’s Delight piques curiosity and entertains with its depth of character. The Junmai Gingo flavours of Hakkaisan’s sake lends layers of complexity to the cocktail, particularly when combined with the yuzushu it is paired with, this sake provides a duality with a sweetness of the vanilla and passionfruit. Served in a chic Nick & Nora glass, the cocktail’s light orange tones evoke the appearance of a ripe fruit, full of flavour and ready to be plucked.”

Kocbek-Hailes also explains, “World Sake Day lands on 1st October as this is based on the sake productions schedule when breweries typically start the rice harvest and get ready for brewing fresh new sake. With over 20 different sakes at Kiyomi, we created fresh tasting cocktail named The Tsuru – a cocktail that represents the deep history associated with sake.”

Kockbek-Hailes from Kiyomi
Kockbek-Hailes from Kiyomi

Kocbek-Hailes continues, “As the name of the city where the sake used in this cocktail is made, and the Japanese name for a crane – a national treasure and bird of happiness due to its 1,000 year lifespan – this cocktail is full of feeling and flavour. We chose the Tengumai 50 Junmai Daiginjo sake because of its perfect collection of steamed rice, oatmeal and banana scents. As a full-bodied sake, its richness and length of flavour creates a delicious cocktail that features hints of mint, steamed rice, and apple. Paired with lime and elderflower, The Tsuru is an elegant and fresh tasting drink to sip on this World Sake Day as we head into warmer spring months.”

The Sake Garden’s Delight

The Sake Garden's Delight from Sokyo
The Sake Garden’s Delight from Sokyo

45ml Sake Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo
15ml Vanilla syrup
20ml Passionfruit puree
30ml Sake Yoshinogawa Daiginjo Niigata

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for approximately one minute. Double strain and pour into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with edible flowers.

The Tsuru

The Tsuru from Kiyomi
The Tsuru from Kiyomi

45ml Tengumai 50 Junmai Daiginjo (Sake)
15ml St Germain (Elderflower Liquor)
10ml Lime Juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for approximately one minute. Double strain and pour into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with edible flowers.

To try one of these delicious cocktails, book a table at Sokyo or Kiyomi now.