Sake Gumi

Yep, it's the season for Japan Society's annual sake tasting. Get your tickets before it sells out! This year's focus is on Koji, the mold, the heart, the most important ingredients in sake making.
Hope to see many of you!

Without Koji, There is No Sake
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
6:30 pm @ Japan Society

Koji-making is the heart of the sake brewing process. Koji is steamed rice onto which a special mold has been grown with great precision and skill that converts starches to sugars, which in turn are fermented to yield alcohol. Making good koji requires precise regulation of temperature and moisture, and nothing has a greater impact on the final flavors and aromas of sake. Like much of sake brewing, koji-making is more art than science. Sake expert John Gauntner discusses the art and science of making koji, what it is, the myriad ways it can be accomplished, and how tiny changes to koji can result in major differences in sake flavor.

Followed by a sake tasting. Co-sponsored by the Sake Export Association.

$35/$30 Japan Society members & seniors
Limit 2 tickets per order.
Must be 21 years of age.

Buy tickets online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. - Fri. 11 am - 6 pm, Weekends 11 am - 5 pm.

Above Image: Sprinkling koji mold spores on steamed rice. Photo: © Tentaka Shuzo


  • Yamahomo – Too late brother, I’ve already got a few more sake cocktails under my belt. You see, my philosophy is that if it works, then do it. And while certainly things like sake can and should most often be appreciated on their own, there’s also a time and place for it to be used in crafted cocktails, done appropriately of course.

    The same way you felt about sake, I felt about scotch, until some very talented people (who knew and respected scotch rather well) opened my eyes to the world of using it in cocktails. Again the operative words are caution, respect, and understanding. I’d never use an expensive sake if the cocktail were to mask its flavor.

    Do you know if there’ll be any American sakes? There are some high quality ones being put out now. One I’d like to try is the American Ozeki Ginjo Premier.

    Btw, where in NYC should I head to that would have the best sake selection for purchase?

    Paystyle on

  • Pay, this event will be a GREAT one for you to explore sake world. I don’t recommend for you to come up with sake cocktails (I don’t believe that), but trust me, you will be able to drink some of the best (and very expensive) sakes in town for only $35!!!

    Yamahomo on

  • Yamahomo, thanks for the heads up! Umamiventure anyone?

    Paystyle on

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