Philadelphians might be shocked to learn that our fair city is home to one of the biggest and best sake events in the country. Sake Fest 2009 is coming up next week - Tuesday evening April 7th to be precise, at the Loews Hotel in Center City. It's part of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. I'll be there judging the sake cocktail competition and hosting the 'Sake Education Station', so come check it out. Sakes of every style and stripe will be on offer, as well as all sorts of other Japanese drinks and food from area restaurants and merchants, like Morimoto and DiBruno's.
Did you know that in addition to being the proper name of that delightful fermented nectar of rice and koji fungus, the word 'sake' has another looser meaning in Japanese? Essentially, it's the term for a 'drink' in the sense of any and every adult beverage. So, in addition to dozens of 'true' sakes - from Japanese to American, honjozo to pure rice junmai, from sparkling to unfiltered nigori - you'll also find other intoxicating treats from Japan, like rice beer, ume plum wine, distilled shochu and even honest-to-goodness grape wine. Whoo-hoo!