TIP OF THE DAY: Saké To Me | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures TIP OF THE DAY: Saké To Me | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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Nigori (cloudy) saké looks milky, but it’s
strictly for adults. Photo by Luigi Anzivino
| Wikimedia Commons.

If you’re a connoisseur of cold saké, consider a nigori—cloudy—saké the next time you’re at a sushi bar.

Nigori saké has a fuller taste and a sweeter finish. It’s a great palate cleanser in preparation for the next roll or piece of sushi; it goes especially well with rich or spicy maki. You can opt for a saketini made from nigori saké and vodka, with a cucumber garnish.

Saké is brewed from polished rice. Nigori saké is classic antique-style saké. Nigori means ”roughly filtered” or ”loosely filtered.” The saké is filtered through a rough weave filtration system, which is how saké was made prior to modern technology.

With this rough process, tiny rice particles filter through and settle on the bottom of the bottle like white sediment. The bottle is shaken prior to serving, which suspends the particles and creates the cloudy (or milky) look.

While many people prefer the crystal-clear saké made possible by modern multiple filtering techniques, others prefer the old-style nigori saké, which retains more flavor and has more natural sweetness. (The subtle sweetness also lets nigori saké pair well with spicy cuisines, fried foods and desserts).

Nigori saké is available in economy, premium, and ultrapremium varieties. It higher in alcohol than average sakés, typically 15%.

Prefer beer to saké? Lighter beers pair better with sushi—don’t lay a heavy craft beer against the delicate fish flavors.


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