G is for Godzilla #atozchallenge

Rising from the Sea of Japan
Striking fear in the heart of man
The ground quakes
The buildings shake
As Godzilla battles Rodan

For those of you just joining this blog, Godzilla makes regular appearances.  Because he is awesome.  With all these limericks to write this month, don’t be surprised if he shows up again!  And for your listening pleasure, “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult.

酒 Saké

Week 13 in the Year of Drinking Adventurously.  Saké.

Saké, the traditional potent potable of Japan, is not a spirit, not a wine -like many believe (the term rice wine is a misnomer) and not exactly a beer either.  It is made from rice in a brewing process better described by Jeff’s book (which I hope you have all purchased by now!):


I will try to synopsize:  Rice is polished to remove the bran, the rice is used to make the fermentable mash from which the saké is distilled.  The amount of polishing of the rice determines the type of saké that results.  This is a ridiculous oversimplification.

The finished product is a clear beverage weighing in at about 15% alcohol.  So here’s my saké story…  I invested in a premium bottle, a Japanese import.  Drank a glass with a lovely Asian dish prepared at home, on Saturday evening.  I was not impressed.  I didn’t think it tasted… well, like anything, actually.  It was very mild -so much so that I couldn’t even pick up any of the subtleties one might taste in a wine or beer, for example.  Just to make sure I wasn’t missing something, I actually contacted Jeff about it.  He told me the flavors are often delicate.  But, he also informed me the brand I bought sucks!  Ha!  My bad!  Should’ve asked before I spent $45. C’est la vie…

I went back to the liquor store for another go, this time, armed with a recommendation from the author.  Turns out about $15 will buy a nice domestic sakè:  Momokawa Organic Sakè made in Oregon.  Man, what a difference!  It actually tasted like stuff!  I’m still having a hard time describing it.  It’s more like wine (maybe sherry, but lighter) than anything else, but not quite.  I drank it slightly cooler than room temperature, not cold.  Because I literally came home, unscrewed the cap and drank it straight from the bottle.  Yeah, I know….  But in my defense, I was pressed for time.  It warms on the way down!  Sakè may be served heated, too.  That did not appeal.  I am pleasantly surprised.  I am so glad I went back and tried again.  Or else I would have been left with the wrong impression.  And since it might be easy to forget you’re drinking a potent potable because of the light and delicate flavor, I’ve included some Japanese wisdom –  don’t be the nail that sticks out! 😀


Oh, and Godzilla’s excited for you to try it.  (You really didn’t think I could go to Japan and not include Godzilla, now did you?)  Go visit Lula to see how she drank her sakè!72mZjUk.gif


I swear to Godzilla…

Week 4 of the year of drinking adventurously!  And it’s a fail!

The view from my front door at about 3PM Saturday. I’d already shoveled the front walkway once.

I tried, I really did.  I knew the storm was coming.  Rather than wait till the last minute, I started looking last week for the Japanese whiskey that was to be this week’s offering.  According to Jeff’s book, Japanese whiskey rivals the best products of Scotland and Ireland.  Who knew? I live in the suburbs of a major East Coast city so I figured one of the larger liquor stores would stock at least one or two varieties on their shelves.  Nope.  I searched for it online.  The closest liquor store to carry it is in East Brunswick, New Jersey; a trafficky hour and a half away.  I couldn’t even find it on the menu of any of the local Japanese restaurants.  I will have to refer you to Lula’s blog to see how she liked it.

Now, you would think I’d take advantage of this enforced downtime to write, edit, research or something.  But you would be wrong!  We brewed our own beer!  You knew I’d get around to alcohol at some point, right?  Rather than bore you with the details (and I intended to bore you with the details but I bored myself just writing them, so…), I will just say that when this batch is finished fermenting, we will hopefully, have an English Ale.  And because this week’s adventure should have taken me to Japan, home of the legendary and awesome radioactive monster, Gojira (Godzilla), I thought it would be the perfect day for a Godzilla movie marathon!  That didn’t happen either, my husband can’t sit through them.  Although to be fair, that might have something to do with the fact that I own the boxed set of the original Toho Productions movies, in Japanese with subtitles! (I could bore you with those details, too.)


Nevertheless, sometimes marriage is about compromise and in order to satisfy my desire for giant alien monsters, he agreed to watch Pacific Rim, which I found on TV.  It really doesn’t take much to make me happy!

Anyway, sorry to fail on week 4.  I am slightly more  optimistic about next week, however. The drink of choice is from China.  Philadelphia does have a Chinatown …  Anyone up for a night on the town?

(Header image courtesy gizmodo.)