HAND-CRAFTED HIRO SAKE FROM JAPAN sets the new Standard for High-End Sake
HIRO SAKE, a delicious and authentic Japanese sake with an easy-to-remember name, has made its debut in and around the Boston area (Cambridge Wine & Spirits was the first to carry the brand) including at top bars, restaurants, lounges and retailers in nine states along the East Coast; after receiving a very warm initial reception, it will be available in wider distribution later this month.
Sake celebrates the culture and heritage of Japan and Hiro is one of Japan’s finest hand-crafted and award-winning sakes. Rooted in time-honored tradition and expert craftsmanship, Hiro’s sake brands are recognized for their remarkable smoothness and versatility, Hiro’s Toji (Sake Master) has created an exquisite brew bridging the rituals of the past with the modern traditions of today.
Hiro offers two products: Junmai (Hiro Red) sake, which has been traditionally brewed and can be served warm or chilled, and Junmai Ginjo (Hiro Blue) sake, produced with rice that is polished or milled to remove at least 45% of its original weight, and has the added character and body to be served chilled, on the rocks, or in a cocktail (and it’s important to note that cocktails made with sake are generally much lower in calories than those made with other alcohols!)
“Today’s wine and spirits consumers are seeking an extraordinary drinking experience, and Hiro sake delivers a unique combination of prestige, style, and outstanding quality,” says Carlos Arana, co-founder and CEO of Hiro Sake LLC. “Matching unparalleled taste with a simple yet modern bottle design, Hiro offers consumers a pure drinking experience. We are thrilled with the positive response Hiro has received among industry experts as well as wine and spirits enthusiasts looking for a new and innovative product to add to their high-end beverage alcohol repertoire.”
The Versatility of Japanese Sake
The magic of Japanese sake is its incredible versatility. While it is often said that Japanese sake is made like a beer but drinks like a wine, it might be more accurate to simply place it in its own category. Sake’s possible food pairings span a wide spectrum, and it has become so much more than a drink served chilled or warm with Japanese food. Today, Japanese sake is an enjoyable addition to any meal, and can be easily paired with cheese, chocolate, and a wide range of other foods. Japanese sake can also be used in an infinite number of cocktails, replacing white spirits such as vodka, rum or gin, while containing half the alcohol of traditional spirits.
In addition to being delicious served chilled, warm, or on-the-rocks, Hiro’s incomparable flavor can also be enjoyed in an array of exciting and refreshing cocktails including a Super Hiro (Hiro Junmai Ginjo sake, premium vodka and a Japanese cucumber), a Hiro Sunrise (Hiro Junmai sake, orange juice and grenadine cubed ice), and a Funny Honey Hiro (Hiro Junmai sake, premium vodka, fresh blackberries, blueberries and lemon juice. For more of Hiro’s signature cocktail recipes, please visit www.hirosake.com.
The History of Authentic and Exceptional Japanese Sake
For more than 2,000 years, sake has been an integral part of Japanese culture and the Toji (Master Brewer) has been revered as both a master craftsman and artist, similar to famous poets and musicians. About 200 years ago, Hiroemon Takeda, a renowned Samurai and Japanese sake connoisseur, aspired to create a Japanese sake recipe that would be regarded as a work of art while also serving as his legacy. Hiroemon Takeda worked closely with the most skilled Toji, combining the finest rice from his own fields with artesian water to produce a truly exceptional Japanese sake recipe.
It is this story of Hiroemon Takeda that inspired Hiro to create a superior Japanese sake with its own Toji. With an uncompromising commitment to quality, Hiro is made with only the finest ingredients (polished rice and water) from the Niigata prefecture, the premiere sake-producing region of Japan, and is created with an unusually high polished ratio versus the national Japanese average, providing a light and refreshing flavor.
Although Japanese sake is thought of as the traditional rice “wine” of Japan, the fermentation process used to produce it is more closely resembles beer production.The process begins with large high-grade rice kernels, which are milled or polished to remove the outer layers, leaving only the core or “pearl” of starch that is the center of each grain. The amount of material removed from each kernel determines the purity of the remaining rice grain and is one factor in assigning classification to the resulting Japanese sake. Once the rice has been polished to the desired depth, it is soaked and steamed to prepare it for the two-step fermentation process.
In the first step, the Koji (a benign fungus) is introduced to the rice and water mixture. The Koji converts the complex starch of the polished kernel to simple sugars. In the second stage, Japanese sake yeast, or Shubo (Moto), completes the fermentation process by converting the sugars into alcohol.
Finally, the liquid content of the mixture is pressed and filtered before being pasteurized and bottled. Hiro sake is pasteurized twice to retain its flavors. The finished Japanese sake contains approximately 15% alcohol. If no additional alcohol has been added to the polished rice and water during fermentation, the resulting Japanese sake can be referred to as Junmai. However, if the rice has been polished to below 60% of its original weight (40% of the kernel removed), the resulting Japanese sake earns the label Junmai Ginjo.
More About Hiro Sake
Hiro Sake is brewed in the Niigata prefecture, the premiere sake-producing region of Japan. Hiro’s Toji was awarded first prize in a 2011 Japanese national sake competition, regarded as one of the most important sake competitions in the world. Hiro’s sake brands recently received top awards at three distinguished wine and spirits competitions including the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, and the Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd is the exclusive distributor for Hiro in the metro New York area, where Hiro is currently available in fine restaurants, bars and retailers, as well as in eight other states along the east coast. Additional information about the company can be found at www.hirosake.com, as well as on Hiro’s Facebook page and on Twitter @hiro_sake.
Special thanks to Bevin Gove