Sake Lovers Unite: Celebrating an Ancient Beverage Tonight in Manhattan

In the ancient tradition of Japanese drinking, New York welcomes the all-day sake festival, The Joy of Sake, to The Altman Building in Chelsea today. For twelve years this event has taken place, and every time it gets a little bit bigger. This year, they host 171 sake breweries and will pour 359 premium labels that range from junmai, ginjo, and daiginjo sakes.

“Sake is not the piping hot beverage most people perceive it to be,” said Chris Johnson, a judge at the U.S. National Sake Appraisal and owner of Manhattan’s Bao Noodles. “My hope is for guests to leave with a new appreciation and a better understanding of what theypersonally like.”

From 6 to 9 PM, try sakes from Hakutsuru, Hiro, and TY KU, and though it comes with a steep $100 price tag to enter, 84 of the bottles offered won gold medals at the 2012 U.S. National Sake Appraisal, and 201 of the labels they feature can’t normally be found in the United States. To pair with these tipples, some of New York’s top restaurant will be serving up snacks, including sun-dried tomato marinated kurobuta pork belly from Brushstroke, beet and coconut soup by wd-50, and slow-roasted duck with sansho-miso sauce by Hibino, plus more. Even if you don’t know much about sake, the event aims to teach beginners about the honorable beverage as well as give experiences sake drinkers something to get excited about. Plus, after tasting all the joys of sake, you have every right to shout, “Sake to me!” Or not. 

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