The sake brewing world is steeped in tradition, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't seen its fair share of innovation in recent years. For example, in response to the popularity of sparkling wines and champagnes which are a staple of Western cuisine, sake brewers have created sparkling sake and there are now certified vegan sakes. Brewers are also experimenting with new techniques, for example, brewing sake made with 99% koji rice (whereas 20 to 30% is the norm).

And now, you can get blue sake...

Seiran: Blue sake

No, Japanese scientists haven't discovered a new variety of blue rice. Seiran 青藍 blends sake and all-natural butterfly pea flower tea to obtain its surprising blue color.

According to the press release, butterfly pea flower is free of odor and taste, so you'll be able to enjoy the mysterious blue color while appreciating the virtues of the authentic fruity ginjo sake brewed with Yamada-Nishiki rice from Nagahama in Shiga Prefecture at a 60% polishing ratio.

As those who are already familiar with butterfly pea flower tea surely know, in addition to its attractive deep blue color, it also has the interesting quality of changing color from blue to purple when the Ph balance changes, an effect usually achieved by adding lemon juice.

Seiran is no exception, which makes it particularly suited towards blending in cocktails. Here are a few suggestions:

Blue Samurai Rock

Pour ice into a glass, add Seiran and lime or lemon juice in a ratio of 8 to 10 parts to 1.

Blue Samurai Mojito

Use the same ingredients as above in the ratio of your choice, adding soda water and mint.

Blue & Green Tea Sake Cocktail

Make a strong brew of green tea, chill until cold, then blend with Seiran in a 1:1 ratio.

Product Information

  • Name: 天然由来の青い日本酒 "青藍(せいらん)"
  • Translation: Natural blue sake Seiran
  • Price: 2,900 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Ingredients: sake, butterfly pea flower
  • Polishing ratio: 60% (made with Yamada Nishiki rice from Nagahama, Shiga Pref.)
  • Volume 500 ml
  • Product page on Village Vanguard Online Store

By - Ben K.