Hanamizake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms

Hanami Sake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms (花見酒)

Hanami Sake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms

Sake flavored with cherry blossoms is a wonderful spring treat in Japan. The sakura bloom only last a few days, so this fleeting pleasure of life must be sought out and enjoyed!

Many of the trees in Kyoto look like they have been covered in a thick, fluffy pink snow. These are of course, the Japanese sakura cherry trees covered in delicate blossoms.

Hanami (花見) means ‘flower viewing’. This is a favorite custom with the Japanese. Many people gather along riversides, in parks and on the grounds of temples and shrines to picnic, barbecue, drink and be merry under the sakura blossoms.

About the Sake:
Peko has a new best friend; Furosen Kidarujikomi Muroka Namagenshu Yamahai Jyunmai Daiginjo (不老泉木樽仕込無濾過生原酒山廃純米大吟醸), a very long name for a very tasty and rare breed of sake. Very, very good stuff! One of the best sakes I have ever had. This sake is produced in Shiga Prefecture, just over the mountain from Kyoto by Uehara Shuzo (上原酒造).

Sakura and Sake
Hanami Sake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms
Sakura and Sake
Hanami Sake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms

Sakura and Sake
Hanami Sake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms

Sakura and Sake
Hanami Sake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms

17 Responses to “Hanamizake: Sake and Sakura Blossoms”

  1. kat says:

    love your spring-y photos!

  2. I’m curious, does the Sakura add flavor to the sake or is it more a visual thing?

  3. PekoPeko says:

    Hello there Marc @ NoRecipes,
    Great question, thanks!
    Yes, the sakura does impart a flavor. Sakura is not extremely fragrant, it is delicate, but the sakura flavor definitely there in the sake. Hanamizake is not just our invention, it is served as an apéritif (at upscale restaurants) in the spring.
    Ume (plum blossom) on the other hand imparts a more pronounced flavor and the fragrance is very strong and delightful.

  4. I’ll have to try it the next time I’m in Japan in spring:-)

  5. diva says:

    sakura flavoured sake?! i want some of that now. pretty pictures. question, is there such a thing as sakura powder for cooking? just very curious as I have yet to taste sakura as it is, rather than from manufactured flavours.

  6. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Diva,
    OK, we studied up on ‘sakura powder’. There are the following in common circulation (surely other more esoteric stuff somewhere in Japan):
    Salted Sakura Blossoms: Used for tea, etc. Very salty. The whole blossoms are most common, but ground can also be had.
    Sakura Leaf: This actually where the most ‘sakura‘ flavor comes from. Powdered sakura leaf comes in two forms; salted and not salted.
    Got it?

  7. diva says:

    hey peko, thanks! i did a little search and found some sakura tea. very interesting, didn’t realise it was salty though. thanks for the sakura facts!

  8. PekoPeko says:

    yeah, that tea is PA-RETTY salty! one blossom per cup. a little goes a long way!

  9. diva says:

    peko! how’s it going.
    i’ve tagged you for Top 10 Pictures. it’s one interesting food-tagging thing going on. check out my blog for more details.x

  10. Veron says:

    Very interesting and beautiful combination! This would be one of the must-try things if I’m in Japan at the right time of the year :)

  11. PekoPeko says:

    Hello tokyoastrogirl,
    Thanks for stopping by! Nice blog! Love anything Mexico. Most of all, I love your tagline;
    “One Los-Angeles-by-way-of-Tokyo-by-way-of-Los-Angeles girl’s adventures in all things culinary.”

  12. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Diva, Thanks girl! You are my hero! xxoo

  13. PekoPeko says:

    Hi Veron, Hey there! Glad to have a visit from such a renowned blogger and foodie!! Yes, this is a must try, but ume (plum) blossom is MY recommendation for YOU.

  14. […] Saké flavored with Sakura (cherry) blossoms. This was something new to me. But I ran across a blog post about it on Kyoto Foodie. Check out the post and see several pictures of the Saké and cherry blossoms. Very […]

  15. Gorgeous! It’s a shame sakura doesn’t grow here in Alaska, or I’d be out picking some flowers to try it for myself. Fantastic photos, fellow sake lover!

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