Episode 12 Show Notes

Join us this week as we keep things caliente and chat with our good friend Chizuko Niikawa-Helton about one of her favorite topics, Hot Sake! Chizuko is the president of Sake Discoveries, a New York based Sake PR company as well as a Sake Samurai. First, we learn how Chizuko discovered sake and ended up in the Big Apple and how her fashion industry experience helped her succeed at matching customers with sake. Chizuko also gives us some inside scoop on her hot sake pop up bar, “Sake Caliente” and how to easily select which sakes may be good for warming and what temperatures are best (watch out lukewarm fans!). In our tasting session, we taste a trio of sakes that are all good for warming up. It’s fun to see where to tasting notes overlap for these three sakes. Rice-y and a whole lot of caramel! Kanpai!

Skip to: 00:19 Hosts Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy

Skip to: 01:12 Guest Interview: Chizuko Niikawa-Helton
Despite a successful career as a fashion designer in Tokyo, with a sake sommelier certification in hand, Chizuko Niikawa-Helton embarked upon a life in sake in New York City. Working from the ground up, her aptitude for sales and popularity with customers helped her to become New York’s top female sake sommelier.

In 2008, focused on developing independent sake events and sake sales techniques designed to make sake more fun, delicious and smart, she founded her own consulting company, Sake Discoveries, LLC. Focused on increasing sake fans nationwide, she consults with restaurants across the country to develop unique sake lists and staff training programs. She has served as a judge for the U.S. National Sake Appraisal and in 2012, was awarded the prestigious title of Sake Samurai by the Japan Sake Brewers Association.

Learn more about Chizuko here:
https://www.sakediscoveries.com/about/

Follow Sake Discoveries here:
https://www.instagram.com/sakediscoveries/

Skip to: 19:16 Sake Tasting Introductions

view our information on warm sake!
https://www.urbansake.com/sake-101/sake-temperature/

For our sake temperature chart mentioned in the episode, visit this link:
https://www.urbansake.com/sake-101/sake-temperature/#saketemp

Skip to: 22:34 Sake Tasting: Daishichi Kimoto Junmai

Daishichi Kimoto Junmai

Classification: Junmai, Kimoto
Acidity: 1.5
Brewery: Daishichi Shuzo
Alcohol: 15.5%
Prefecture: Fukushima
SMV: +2.0
Rice Type: Gohyakumangoku
Seimaibuai: 69%

View On UrbanSake.com


Skip to: 23:31 Sake Tasting: Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai

Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai

Acidity: 1.5
Brewery: Kurosawa Brewery
Alcohol: 15.5%
Classification: Junmai, Kimoto
Prefecture: Nagano
SMV: +2.0

View On UrbanSake.com

Where to Buy?
Purchase on TippsySake.com: Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.


Skip to: 28:35 Sake Tasting: Gozenshu 9 Bodaimoto Junmai

Gozenshu 9 Bodaimoto Junmai

Alcohol:15.5%
Brewery: Tsuji Honten
Seimaibuai:65%
SMV:+4
acidity:1.6
Rice Type: omachi
Classification: Bodaimoto Junmai
Prefecture: Okayama

View On UrbanSake.com


Skip to: 36:28 Show Closing

This is it! Join us next time for another episode of Sake Revolution!

Episode 12 Transcript

John Puma 0:22
Hello and welcome to Sake Revolution. America’s first sake podcast. I’m your host John Puma, founder of TheSakeNotes.com, Administrator of the internet sake discord and all around sake nerd.

Timothy Sullivan 0:34
and I’m your host Timothy Sullivan. I’m a Sake Samurai, sake educator as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And together, John and i will be tasting and chatting about all things sake.

John Puma 0:46
Tim it is nearly summer here in New York and the temperatures are rising.

Timothy Sullivan 0:51
It’s getting hot. I actually bought and installed a brand new AC this week. I am not joking around with this heat. No way.

John Puma 0:59
Yes, Indeed. And you know, when I think of hot summers you know what that makes me think of?

Timothy Sullivan 1:07
Maybe… hot sake?

John Puma 1:10
How did you know?

Timothy Sullivan 1:12
Well, our guest this week is none other than Ms. Sake Caliente herself. Chizuko Niikawa-Helton.

John Puma 1:20
Wait a minute a guest? Does this mean the sake education corner is taking the week off?

Timothy Sullivan 1:26
Well, in a way I think Chiz is gonna school us on how delicious warm sake is. So we’re gonna get our learning in..

John Puma 1:35
all right, okay, well let’s not wait on this. Let’s get her out here.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 1:40
Hello. Hello guys.

John Puma 1:42
Welcome

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 1:43
Yay.

John Puma 1:45
Good to see you. Good to see you.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 1:46
Good to see you guys.

Timothy Sullivan 1:48
How are you holding up with all this quarantine stuff going on?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 1:52
Well, you know I’m making a lot of pickles and sauce and jams… you know it’s my body is getting fermented, too! I feel like

Timothy Sullivan 2:02
you’re becoming like a Japanese Martha Stewart

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 2:04
way. Exactly. I’m trying. I’m trying

John Puma 2:09
Glad you’re keeping busy.

Timothy Sullivan 2:13
So John and I both know you really well, but for any of our listeners who have not met you before, can you tell us a little bit about your background where you’re from and maybe how you got started in sake?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 2:24
Okay, got it. My name is Chizuko Niikawa-Helton. I’m based in New York, and I’m a sake sommelier, and also the founder of Sake Discoveries. Sake Discoveries is a sake PR company. We are giving a sake education class and seminar and staff training for many restaurants and I did organize some sake tasting events, consulting restaurants, sake list and menus, events, something like that. And, also, most of my clients are restaurants and sake brewers in Japan. I’m kinda, you know, the branding for their marketing Yeah, Something like that.

John Puma 3:23
Excellent. And how did you get started in sake? What what brought you into this business?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 3:30
Well, basically I’m a natural born sake person

John Puma 3:36
natural born sake person.

Timothy Sullivan 3:39
In your DNA?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 3:40
Yes, exactly. I’m from the one of the most rice region, Akita prefecture. My… actually I grew up in a Buddhist temple in the mountainside, in Akita prefecture and always, my life was pretty much surrounded by lots of rice fields. So rice and water is very… it’s the where I grew up and my father passed away when I was about 30. Till then I was living in Tokyo after graduating college in Tokyo and then working at the fashion business, industry in Tokyo but I went back to Akita for taking care of my family because my father was sick. There I finally realized that how beautiful my hometown was. I was kind of I believed that this kinda typical, the countryside, the people’s kind of, kind of complex like always, oh, you know, I have only the rice fields river is nothing entertainment this town, I guess. No, it’s I really wanted to move to Tokyo, big city. You know, I wanted to be a city girl. But I was a silly girl actually, I finally realized how beautiful the town I grew up and I really regretted that you know why I didn’t care much for this treasure in my town in my home prefecture. So after my father’s passing. I kind of wanted to learn something about my hometown, of course because of rice and water: Sake. Because Akita is one of the, of course, the most famous sake regions, and I took a sake course at the sake SSI that is the Sake Service Institute in Tokyo, and I passed the exam and I got a certification But I had no idea about like industry. I never ever thought that I’m gonna work this industry, but I just wanted to spread the beauty of sake to the world. So I just decided to live in New York for a while, because New York is my kind of dream city and so many people from all over the world are living there. So I moved to New York. And luckily I got the job opportunity at the Sakagura restaurant in Midtown as a sake sommelier because I had the certification. But, as I said, I had a certification but I had no idea what to do because I never ever worked at the restaurant. never worked in the industry, the sake industry.

Timothy Sullivan 6:54
So when you when you were at Sakagura, you were like fresh off the boat. You

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 7:00
Oh, Yea,

Timothy Sullivan 7:00
just arrived in the US and your English was more limited back then wasn’t it?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 7:05
Oh yeah. Oh, yes. Still still learning.

Timothy Sullivan 7:07
No, you’re doing great. But how you had to learn on the job right? You had to just –

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 7:13
Oh, yeah.

Timothy Sullivan 7:14
hit the ground running. What was that like for you back then when you’re in a new country a new language all you’re doing a job in sake, which you’ve never worked in before? Tell us about that time. Like, what was it like finding your way at that time?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 7:28
Okay. luckily, I think that my former work in the fashion business, fashion business background really helped me. You know, I think I had good eyes to catch what type of, sake or thing they’re looking for from their look, their clothing or, he’s got a girlfriend, friends or a group… even just color of ties or hat. So, you know, I think, this guy likes this type of sake. Oh, this guy might hate this type of sake. It’s kinda and… I was right. 99% I was right. I was reading their…

Timothy Sullivan 8:17
So you used your fashion training to kind of read people.

John Puma 8:21
Yes, I think we call that “social engineering” in other circles.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 8:26
And also you know what? I always told the customers, I always mentioned that I’m sorry, my English is not good, but please trust me. I can choose the right sake for you. Please trust me. I always said that. But it was surprisingly most – seriously – everybody trusts me. And then you know what? It’s actually the my first “Oh My God”, amazing experience was when I sold a glass of Daishichi Minowamon Junmai Daiginjo by the glass. That price was almost, I think, 20-something $20 $24 by the glass, it’s 100 ml, so it’s about the three, four, ounce or something like that, But, the customer really appreciate it and they ordered a bottle right away. Wow, it’s amazing. And then that experience kind of made me kind of feel more confident, comfortable to, the give more kinds of suggestion to the customers were really a little higher-end sake and a little more expensive sake, but of course, I kind of mix with even Honjozo or futsushu. If people love expensive kind of luxury, high end sake, I always suggest something a little, honjozo or futshushu in the mix, too, so it’s kind of balance-wise Oh, this woman is not trying to sell only expensive sake. Yeah, I always kind of made a kind of trick too. So

John Puma 10:10
That’s a good idea.

Timothy Sullivan 10:13
I think a lot of customers, even today, they come into a place like Sakagura or another high end Japanese restaurant and, the sommelier comes over and says let me guide you, let me help you, and they’re like, Phew!, it’s a big relief. A lot of people don’t know that much about sake and to have someone come up and say, let me help you. I’ll get you something delicious.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 10:34
Yeah,

Timothy Sullivan 10:35
I’m sure people really appreciated that.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 10:37
Yes.

Timothy Sullivan 10:37
So that’s good to hear.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 10:39
So tell us a little bit about some of the activities you’ve been doing more recently with Sake Discoveries. You told us a little bit about your company, and what are some of the projects you’ve had recently?

Okay. So recently, of course now it’s a little difficult time to hold the events that we’re doing kinda restaurant as the thing, but we’re doing the webinars pretty much. Especially in the every week every Friday my assistant and marketing director of Sake Discoveries Jessica Joly, you know that you guys know. So she is a host and giving the sake webinar every Friday and we feature the one brand of sake and you know the usually the kuramoto or the sake producer joined our webinar to give a little special that seminar and tour and a little kind of secret, somewhat of the kind of fun topic we do something like that. It’s kind of a one hour webinar but it’s a really popular and another webinar is for more private thing. It’s like for a big I.T. companies or, it’s sometimes you know, they’re giving a little staff training for restaurants. So, if this the current quarantine , this didn’t happen, the webinar I never done that. So I think it’s kind of new thing new business opportunity for us.

John Puma 12:28
And I’d say that around around these parts and and also probably in some parts of Japan you’re kind of known for warming sake.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 12:37
Uh-huh.Yup.

John Puma 12:40
So tell us a little bit about Sake Caliente?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 12:42
Okay, the Sake Caliente is one of my projects which is introducing the more kinda unique way to enjoy sake so it’s like for warming or blending. It’s a kind of mixing, pairing. It’s more like just easy pairing of them it’s more like the fun way making super easy cocktails or you know something like that. So this started in 2015 basically so it’s about five years ago from Yopparai on the Lower East Side. So on Saturday nights, late night after they finished and they closed the restaurant 11pm I use their space to give us a little pop up sake bar: Sake Caliente. So “Sake Caliente”… caliente as you know, is hot in Spanish, as you may know, but, “CALI” means to borrow something in Japanese and “EN” means connection or that relationship… friendship, and “TE” means hands. So Sake CALI-EN-TE means like never happened this pop up without your guys support and help and friendship, something like that. So its a little bit behind the meaning Just HOT SAKE.

John Puma 14:27
Well, when I was first getting into sake there was a lot of stigma almost around warm sake because we didn’t understand it because what I understood was alright when you go to a place and they offer you the hots, okay, it’s usually not going to be the best stuff they have right

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 14:42
yeah. yeah. yeah.

John Puma 14:43
And then I started to learn that the premium sake is usually serve cold. And then all these years later, I find out that Chizuko is doing a hot sake pop up, and I’m like, wait a minute. That’s… I have to check this out. This is different. I need to see what’s going on here because this flies in the face of everything

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 15:00
yeah.

John Puma 15:01
And then, so how did you then go about like finding what was the best sakes to be served in this way and then the best temperatures for these sakes?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 15:11
Okay, that’s the common question. Okay, so the easy answer is, if you don’t see any “Ginjo” or “Daiginjo” word on the label, it’s super safe. It means Junmai, Honjozo, Futsushu so it’s no “Ginjo” or “Daiginjo” it’s definitely it’s the safest way to heat it up even though you forgot to turn off the heat. That’s fine. You know, it’s many people say, “Oh, you know what, oh, I did too much. Oh, I lost the flavor. Oh, I’m so sorry.” Oh, or something. Don’t worry. You know, sake is not that weak. Especially that type of full bodied style sake. So, but Ginjo, Daiginjo is… Many people think oh, it’s to delicate. It’s too good to heat it up. Oh, hot sake is supposed to be served with cheap sake, low quality sake. So why did you want to start Sake Caliente? Because of that. Many people have a misunderstanding about the hot sake. So hot sake is… it’s great, great way to enjoy the sake and then even Ginjo, Daiginjo if you heat it up the right way or to the right temperature, it’s really good. And then another safest way when you want to enjoy Ginjo or Daiginjo hot sake: The easiest answer — you pick sake from Niigata. Niigata prefecture. yes.

John Puma 16:59
Tim, do you have anything to say about that?

Timothy Sullivan 17:02
That sounds like solid advice to me.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 17:05
Yeah, seriously, that my always, you know, people so many people think, Oh, it’s a little difficult to choose sake for warming. Oh, which one is the best? It’s too many kinds. Okay, two answers. No Ginjo no Daiginjo, it’s totally fine. And if you want to try something a little in the Ginjo, Daiginjo style, the easy answer is to pick from Niigata because in general Niigata sake doesn’t have too much fruity or floral notes. So, even heated up too much… too high, Niigata sake is really clean. It’s still keeps the quality in the flavor. It’s really, really beautiful. And some people say “Oh, don’t heat it too much.” Its like “ATSUKAN” is extremely hot and “NURUKAN” is kind of lukewarm. But to be honest, lukewarm is it’s when you pour sake into your cup – the lukewarm sake – it’s easy to get cold right away, you know?

John Puma 18:23
Yeah,

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 18:23
Right? So, you know what? Actually I like a little more of a high temperature to be honest… even for Ginjo or Daiginjo. Of course you can heat it up – the warm one using your sake cups, but it’s definitely a little higher temperature is more… If you like hot sake, definitely you’ll love a little higher temperature, it’s more comfortable and you enjoy the difference in the temperature between cold and hot. Lukewarm is… hmmm. If you drink lukewarm… for me, I’d rather have cold sake. Yeah, or room temperature,

John Puma 19:13
Oh, room temperature.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 19:14
Yeah.

Timothy Sullivan 19:16
Well, we each brought in a sake today to taste together. And the mission was to bring in a sake that we think is good for serving warm, and we wanted to talk to you about that and taste a little bit together. So what we usually do is we take just a couple minutes and everybody can just introduce their sake…

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 19:36
sure!

Timothy Sullivan 19:36
…and then we’ll go one by one and taste them. So Chizuko, why don’t you start as our guest, why don’t you tell us which sake you brought.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 19:45
Ta-da! This is my favorite sake for warming: Daishichi Kimoto Junmai.

Timothy Sullivan 19:53
Daishichi Kimoto Junmai and that’s from?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 19:56
Fukushima Prefecture. Yes. So This sake is Junmai and a kimoto style sake. So kimoto is one of the very old fashioned brewing methods style sake, so tastes much more bold, creamier and a little bit you can taste a little kind of lactic, yogurt, lactic acid flavor like a yogurt. And this sake was brewed in 2016. So it’s about four year aged. And the minute people… Daishichi is always printed their brewing year. And some people think, “Oh, this sake is so old must be really bad.” No, it’s aged sake. Some sake is really, really great for aging. So Daishichi is one of the kings of aged sake..sake for aging.

Timothy Sullivan 20:55
Awesome. All right, John, what did you bring today?

John Puma 20:58
Well, I brought The Gozenshu Nine Junmai from Okayama prefecture. And it is a Bodai-Moto, which I’m sure we will get into with more depth at another day – another episode. But this one is very, very food friendly and very warming-friendly from what I understand so…

Timothy Sullivan 21:22
and what’s the grade for that sake?

John Puma 21:24
It’s a Junmai

Timothy Sullivan 21:25
Junmai. All right.

John Puma 21:29
And Tim?

Timothy Sullivan 21:31
well, I was recently in a liquor store and I came across this sake that I haven’t had in a long time, but I knew we were going to be doing this episode on warm sake. So I brought Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto. So Chizuko and I both have Junmai kimoto sake, and we haven’t talked much about kimoto but it’s a production method that gives a little bit of an earthier flavor to sakes. Maybe a little bit more dimension and structure. So it’s interesting that Chizuko and I chose the same classification of sake but from different regions. This Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai is from Nagano Prefecture. And it’s a really affordable sake, I think it’s one of the least expensive, imported premium sakes you can get. And I remember this has been exported for a long time. I remember drinking this even years and years ago. So that’s what I brought. So Chizuko, why don’t you start us off and you can, if you want to go ahead and pour your sake,

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 22:42
okay,

Timothy Sullivan 22:42
…and let us know about the aroma and what you think of the taste.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 22:45
hmmm. Smells like vanilla and caramel, almond. It’s definitely, the mouthfeel is really more creamy body. It’s a really…. wow… I haven’t had this sake for a while so is this made me kind of emotional. Yeah Daichichi is one of my very, very special sake actually. My first “Oh My God” sake brand after I moved to New York so it’s nice to have so many and sorry but this sake is definitely it’s definitely not fruity notes or not floral notes So definitely it’s one of the best. I highly recommend to serving warm. Definitely this kimoto has much more depth and robust flavor, texture. But same time Daishichi’s kimoto is really round and creamy, so soft. So it’s definitely even heated up, the softness is much more, much rounder than serving chilled or room temperature. So I really want you to try this. Also, you know that you can add a little bit tiny bit of whiskey or bourbon mix. It’s really good, too.

John Puma 24:46
ooh. that sounds like fun.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 24:48
Yeah, but believe it or not, it’s really good. Maker’s Mark is so good.

There’s more caramel

Timothy Sullivan 24:56
So we talked a little bit about recommended serving temperature, so I wanted to ask you what temperature do you recommend for your sake and can you give us one idea for food pairing with your Daishichi?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 25:07
Okay, Daishichi – actually any temperature is great but especially this Daishichi Kimoto Junmai this one is the best temperature is actually room temperature or… well my favorite temperature is a little higher like 120F…

John Puma 25:28
Hmmm.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 25:29
…Or even higher a little bit so people might think “Oh, it’s too hot!” No, don’t worry. It’s still so good. And then you can enjoy that you know the high temperature and it goes down. You know, it’s “Kanzamashi” it’s got a little by little kind of getting cold… that difference you can enjoy.

John Puma 25:52
Nice. Tim, why don’t you go next.

Timothy Sullivan 25:58
Sure. I again have the Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto. um.. Yeah, it smells like a bowl of steaming rice with a drizzle of caramel on it. That’s what it smells like there’s, there’s a little bit of a caramely sugar note. And there’s also a ricey note. But it’s really wonderful. This is from 2019. So this isn’t – it’s from November 2019, so it’s not aged. It’s right in the zone for drinking. But as Chizuko said, these types of Junmai and kimoto sakes are really stronger than you think. And if you leave it out, or you forget about it for a year, it’s not really a big deal right, Chizuko?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 26:54
No, not at all. Not at all. You know sometimes when I find really, really old sake at the liquor shop. I always feel like Oh my goodness, I found a special treasure! …that kind of feeling.

Timothy Sullivan 27:12
Okay, so I’m gonna give the Kurosawa a taste hmmm. Yep, so it has a very rice forward flavor. It really spreads on the palate. Chizuko, you mentioned Niigata sakes before that are kind of lighter and cleaner. This one has more body to it a little bit more weight and it has a really dry finish like the finishes a little bit hot. You know there’s a little bit of heat at the end. And that is such a food friendly finish for sake. Really dry, clean and I would recommend warming up to about 120-125F so around the same temperature that Chizuko said, a sake like this can really stand up to those warmer temperatures. And for anybody who’s interested in the different temperatures you can warm your sake to we’re going to put a heating chart with all the different temperature ranges in the show notes at SakeRevolution.com, so check out this episode and you can see the range of heating temperatures that are available. Okay, John, over to you.

John Puma 28:35
Yeah, Let’s have a look at this Gozenshu Nine Junmai. Now, Tim, last time I think we talked about actually with two episodes ago, we talked a little about Okayama prefecture and their lean towards omachi rice being local and the granddaddy of rice – this actually uses omachi as well. So I definitely have a type but from an aroma standpoint, this is much more of a… this is kind of nutty and oatmeal I want to say on the nose almost like like warm bread almost even though this is currently a little bit chilled. It’s going to I imagine that’s going to open up as it warms up a little bit probably get more of that bread aroma which is very unusual or interesting. And then the taste is is really unique it is there’s some like there’s some caramel to it but like not a sharp caramel but have you ever had really smooth caramel like really maybe a little overpriced caramel and some a nougat like that. It’s like a very, like it’s it reminds me a lot of a really good chocolate bar in a way. It’s really interesting it’s very, very different than my usual style of sake. And this is a kind of thing that’s going to expand on those flavors I think as it warms up as it gets to room temperature and as you bring it to maybe a lukewarm level I know Chizuko does not approve of lukewarm..

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 30:19
for some sake, it’s great.

John Puma 30:23
I’m still very much dipping my toe in the in the warming of sake. So I take it by baby steps.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 30:30
Okay.

Timothy Sullivan 30:34
So John, do you have any food pairing ideas for your sake?

John Puma 30:39
This is like I said, a very unique sake for me, but this is so rich. I’m going to say that it’s going to be really compatible with meat. Probably. Maybe barbecue. Like something, something big. I’m not gonna say spicy necessarily. But just like big rich flavors like your grilled meats and stuff like that. I don’t mean yakitori I mean like, ribs. Like that kind of thing. That seems like something that would go really well with this. I got to stop drinking sake that make me think of foods I can’t readily have right now in quarantine. This is becoming a bad habit of mine.

Timothy Sullivan 31:21
So, Chizuko, do you have any general recommendations for people out there who want to get started with warm sake? Maybe you can describe the best way to warm up sake at home for our listeners?

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 31:34
Okay. Well, I have so many equipments, but don’t worry. It’s super easy. And I don’t have a microwave. So usually… if you don’t have the those kind of equipment, so I just simply recommend to use boiling water in the pot. And use you know for example use a kind of beaker or a mug cup or ceramic cups if you don’t have any kind of sake carafe or tokkuri or something. Don’t worry just not to use your mug cup and the pour the sake into the cup and then, just put in the cup into the pot for a while. But you know, do you have to turn off the heat before you put it in the cup into the hot water.

Yeah, something like that.

Timothy Sullivan 32:43
Yeah, you can use anything.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 32:44
Yeah,

Timothy Sullivan 32:45
…even in an emergency, I even used a coffee cup once

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 32:48
Oh, yeah. thats fine.

Timothy Sullivan 32:50
Anything that is safe for heat. Any heat-safe pyrex or a

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 32:55
Oh yeah!

Timothy Sullivan 32:56
…coffee cup. Set it in a warm water bath.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 32:59
Yes.

Timothy Sullivan 33:00
It takes about five minutes or so a little bit longer and you just bring it up to the temperature you want. it’s really easy.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 33:05
Absolutely, absolutely I use a Pyrex or Fire King – those type of cups or… Yes anything is fine. Don’t think too much. Just – the key is find your favorite temperature and your favorite taste of sake. As I said, if you want to try something with a high-end style, the hot sake and the light side, I highly recommend to try sake from Niigata Prefecture but a little high end but a little more. You know the you like you want to enjoy a little bit more kinda fruity notes and a little more robust flavor at same time. I highly recommend to try Ginjo or Daiginjo but… the Kimoto or Yamahai method. And then no ginjo, no daiginjo on the label yeah whatever if it’s a honjozo, futsushu or Junmai – those types of bold sakes are absolutely great great great. Easy to heat it up and the the price is much lower.

John Puma 34:17
Well Chizuko thank you so much for stopping by I have a lot of things I did try now I have a need to get my coffee cups ready

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 34:26
yeah

John Puma 34:27
…and get some some Junmai and some kimoto

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 34:31
Yeah, yeah.

John Puma 34:32
…And go to work because when it’s summertime… I think of warm sake!

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 34:35
Yes please enjoy. And yes definitely Umeshu, Yuzu hot is a great too…

John Puma 34:41
Umeshu? All right. Well, let’s bring you back to talk about Umeshu then…

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 34:45
Hot Umeshu… Hot Yuzu sake, Yuzushu is really, really good, too.

John Puma 34:50
Tim, Make a note…

Timothy Sullivan 34:53
If there’s one rule I learned from Chizuko is that there are no rules. So go out and have fun and experiment with temperature and mixing and life is too short to worry about rules.

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 35:05
Exactly, exactly. Yes.

John Puma 35:07
Excellent. Well, thanks again for coming by. And we’re looking forward to what you do next.

Timothy Sullivan 35:13
It’s great to talk with you. Thank you, Chizuko!

Chizuko Niikawa-Helton 35:15
Thank you so much, guys. Thank you. Mata ne…

Timothy Sullivan 35:20
Well, thank you all so much for tuning in. If you can, it would help us a lot if you could rate our show on Apple podcasts.

John Puma 35:28
And make sure that you subscribe to our podcast wherever you download your podcasts. We don’t want you to miss an episode. And you don’t want to miss one either.

Timothy Sullivan 35:37
And as always, to learn more about any of the topics or sakes we talked about in today’s episode, be sure to visit our website SakeRevolution.com for all the detailed show notes.

John Puma 35:48
And if you have a sake question that you need answered, we want to hear from you reach out at [email protected] So until next time, please keep cool, remember to keep drinking sake and… Kanpai!