Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association | JSS

Professional Why Dessert Pairs Well with Sake

Sake is a beverage that goes well with a wide range of food. This allows for sake pairing throughout a full course meal. For example, as a starter, match sake with brothy soups, pair it with main dishes featuring seafood, and it even goes well with salads. So what about dessert? The sweet undertone and the complex flavor make some sake a good accompaniment to various desserts.

Adding Extra Layers of Flavor and Texture

Aged sake has a complex flavor with a hint of caramel, spices, and nuts. These elements resonate well and add an extra layer to a variety of desserts. For example, aged sake gives depth and richness to the flavor of chocolate, whether it is a plain piece of chocolate or chocolate brownies. Another good example is vanilla ice cream. The caramelly and nutty flavor of aged sake acts as a sauce and adds a pleasant bitterness and depth to the ice cream. Also, the combination of nigori sake and sweet gianduja chocolate is a good example of layering strong textures.

Resonates with Dairy

Sake contains lactic acid from its production process. The lactic acid acts as a bridge between the flavors of sake and desserts made with dairy products. For example, kimoto is a type of sake that is rich in lactic acid and brings out the creaminess and umami from a cheesecake. The creaminess of a nigori sake also goes well with vanilla ice cream adding additional depth of flavor to it.

Fruity Sake with Fruity Dessert

Ginjo and daiginjo pair well with fruits and fruity desserts. The distinctly fruity aroma of this style of sake matches well with the flavor of fruits, such as pears, peaches, melon, and berries. Furthermore, a sparkling type would help accentuate the flavor of the fruit on the palate. Lastly, the lightness of this type of sake also makes a great base for fruity drinks like sangria (or "sakegria").

Advanced Food Pairings

Professional Guide


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