Sake Splash: Kikusui Perfect Snow
This’ll have you doing the can-can.
Welcome back to Sake Splash with Eda!
Have you ever wanted to make it snow any time of the year? Well, now you can with Kikusui Perfect Snow. Seriously! You may have seen Perfect Snow in its beautiful 300ml and 720ml sized bottles, but did you know it now comes in a handy dandy 180ml sized can?
Brewed by Kikusui Sake, Perfect Snow hails from one of the snowiest prefectures in Japan: Niigata. The clean mountain air, pure water, and brisk temperatures allow for some premium sake brewing. Other notable products from Kikusui include their Funaguchi Nama Genshu series (also in a can) and immensely popular Junmai Ginjo.
This cute little can comes in the signature Perfect Snow shades of light blue and has a charming metallic shine. The can is freckled with falling snow and a white mountain range circling the bottom of the can. It’s like you’ve been instantly transported to the pristine mountains of Niigata. This can comes with a clear cap and is also sealed with a removable pop-top for convenience.
Don’t judge a sake by its size because this little can packs a punch! Perfect Snow is a nigori genshu. Nigori means coarsely filtered or more literally “cloudy”. Nigori sake is often labeled as unfiltered sake for marketing purposes but in actuality they are passed through a coarse filter. Genshu means the sake is undiluted, no additional water is added to cut the alcohol content or to adjust the flavor. The result of this production method is a rich, full-bodied, refreshing, and rice-sweet sake at a whopping 21% ABV. Please keep in mind that not all nigori are made equally. Some have more sake mash incorporated allowing for a thicker, fuller texture while others use less, producing a smoother, silkier texture. This sake is definitely like a full blanket of snow rather than a light dusting. I would say the texture is similar to that of potage.
One of my favorite things about a nigori is getting to shake it up! The rice mash particles from the coarse filter tend to separate when this sake rests, so be sure to give it a good shake before you open it up. If you forget to shake it, need to shake it again, or save the rest for later, just pop the reusable clear cap back on. There was no leakage when we tested this with the clear cap.
Perfect Snow is opaque with a light milky color, reminiscent of soymilk. The aroma transforms as you allow it to breathe. At first whiff, this nigori has a lovely, sweet, vanilla yogurt scent with a touch of yellow rose. Then the scent of fruits appear: green apple, rounded orange peel, and young peach. Fully opened, there are hints of cinnamon and leafy green vegetables. On the palate, it is luxuriously textured and sweet on the start but crisp on the finish, this can be a great replacement for dessert. The sake meter value (SMV) is relatively low at -19.
Perfect Snow is excellent at a backyard barbecue or cookout. This sweet sake matches various types of sauces and the crispness helps cut through oilier meats. Try it with spicy Korean ribs or sweet soy-glazed chicken skewers. The robust flavor of Perfect Snow doesn’t get lost against the herbs and spices used in marinades or rubs so feel free to keep Perfect Snow flowing at your next barbecue. These little cans belong right next to your beers in the cooler.
Enjoy this nigori chilled or at room temperature for a different experience. Perfect Snow’s high alcohol content and full flavor profile give it the versatility to be used in cocktails, mixed with soda, or even on the rocks. For a fun brunch, try mixing Perfect Snow with orange juice for a creamy mimosa. If you’re feeling a little more daring, try it with whiskey!
Make it snow this summer with this no-fuss “cup sake”. Kikusui Perfect Snow is the perfect solution to get your sake fix while you’re away camping, at a picnic, or on the beach. Just remember to check your state’s open container and public drinking laws before bringing any alcohol with you anywhere.