Small Sake Meet the contemporary rice wine that is quickly gaining popularity from east to west
For many Westerners, remembering one's favorite brand of sake can be difficult due to linguistic differences. Removing that complication marks one of the core ideas behind Small Sake, a new drink from Hong Kong-based Swede, Pontus Karlsson.
Karlsson has focused on taste as much as the name of his sake, and in just a few months the fermented drink's popularity has grown rapidly from west to east as people warm to the versatile tipple, which packs as much punch as pedigree. Standing on the same shelves as a beverage dating back more than 1,000 years, Small Sake is definitely a bit of an upstart yet the contents of the happy little can compete with the best of them. Small Sake is a Junmai (pure rice)—with a character and distinction that does not require means it to be served warm like a sake of a lesser quality, though there's nothing to stop someone from doing so. Small Sake's Junmai is brewed in Nara Prefecture in Japan's Kansai area—said to be the birthplace of sake—from Hitomebore rice that has had 30% of the rice polished away (a 70% polishing ratio if you want to impress a friend or two), to leave more of the starch and less of the chaff.