Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Amazake - Japanese Encyclopedia
Written by ニコ
Amazake is sweet beverage, frequently enjoyed hot during winter. Depending on the recipe, it may contain a small quantity of alcohol. Learn more about the great effects it has one one&s health and why it is a stable winter drink!
What is Amazake?
Amazake is a sweet drink made of white rice that has been favored by the Japanese for a long time. The name literally means "sweet alcohol" and it is frequently drunk hot during the cold winter days.
Like the name suggests, there is a small amount of sake included.
Is It Sake or Soft Drink? How Is Amazake Made
There are two ways of making Amazake. One way is to use an ingredient called kome koji (malted rice) and the other is to use sake kasu (sake lees).
When malted rice is used, despite the name having the word "sake" in it, the beverage has no alcoholic content, so it is safe for young children to enjoy as well.
When the amazake is made with sake lees, the alcoholic percentage is under 1%, that is why standard amazake sold in shops are not considered to be an alcoholic drink. It is sold among soft drinks, so for those who have allergies or religious restrictions against alcohol should be aware of this.
Amazake is a Japanese Superfood!
The great point of the amazake is not limited to its delicious taste. It is also highly nutritious, being referred to as a "drinkable intravenous drip". This fermented drink contains Vitamin B, amino acids, enzymes, glucose and it is considered to enhance your health and beauty. Amazake is also a superfood that relieves fatigue and keeps your skin and hair beautiful.
In addition to that, the amazake made of malted rice does not use sugar despite its sweetness, so it is low on calories. For those who wish to get an energy boost or for those who are craving sweets, but are cautious about their calorie count, this may be the perfect drink!
When and Where Can You Drink Amazake?
Amazake is usually sold during the winter.
Aside from Japanese confectionery stores or tea houses in Japanese gardens, one can purchase amazake at local super markets or convenience stores. It is reasonably priced at roughly 100 Yen.
They are sold in paper cartons or small cans commonly with red packaging. It is a drink that is meant to be warmed up, so if you find it sold cold, it is recommended to heat it up before drinking.
During the autumn and winter seasons, amazake is frequently provided at shrines and festivals. In the cold seasons, the hot amazake will warm you up instantly. If you manage to drink some amazake while visiting Japanese shrines, we hope you enjoy the taste of this amazing superfood!
During the summer, you can also find chilled amazake as well. In this case, the beverage will have blue packaging.