Hello. This is Ren MURO , a store specializing in rice koji amazake.
Last time, I summarized the “differences” in amazake from the previous blog, so I would like to continue writing about things that are similar to amazake but different this time.
So, today's theme is "the difference between amazake and shirozake".
Ladies and gentlemen, do you know what "shirozake" is?
For those of you who know it, you may think that it is something you drink at the Doll's Festival, but it looks very similar to amazake, and many of the ingredients are also similar.
Shirozake is a drink made by adding mirin (or shochu or rice malt) to steamed glutinous rice, letting it sit for about a month, and pulling down the aged moromi in a mortar.
The big difference from amazake is that it contains alcohol, and shirozake has around 10% alcohol. And the sugar content is about 45%, and the action of rice malt gives it a strong sweetness like amazake.
Therefore, shirozake falls under the category of liqueur under the Sake Brewing Act, and just like sake (doburoku at home), which I wrote about in the previous blog, it is legally prohibited to make it at home.
Since it contains alcohol, even though it is a liquor for celebrating the Doll's Festival, children are not allowed to drink it. So now, amazake is drunk instead.
Since the Muromachi period, it has been customary to soak peach blossoms in the peach blossoms before drinking white sake.
The Hinamatsuri is a custom that was passed down from ancient China to pray for longevity and good health at the turn of the seasons, and to ward off evil spirits. In addition, it is said that peaches are said to be “a fruit that can live a long life” in China, so people in Japan began to drink peach blossom wine. This later changed to shirozake, which became the custom of drinking shirozake at the Doll's Festival.
And in the nursery rhyme "Ureshii Hinamatsuri", white sake is mentioned in the lyrics, "A little white sake, the minister of the right with a red face."
It's surprising that a nursery rhyme that I've been familiar with since I was little has such an origin.
I would appreciate it if you could make use of it as one of the wisdom of Japanese culture.
Thank you very much for reading to the end today.
Noren MURO Kagurazaka
Address: 1-12-6 Kagurazaka , Shinjuku -ku, Tokyo 162-0825
Phone number: 03-5579-2910
Website URL : http://noren-japan.jp/store/murokagurazaka/
EC site URL : https://koujiamasake.jp/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/noren_muro/
MURO（むろ）は、麹を製造する神聖な場所「麹室（こうじむろ）」が名前の由来です。「KOJIを通じて、人々の健康や豊かな食に貢献する」をコンセプトにしたKOJI FOODS（麹を使った食品・調味料）やKOJI DRINK（甘酒）のブランドです。