Tamagozake Is The Boozy Japanese Drink Mixed With An Egg

Tamagozake (or 卵酒), translating literally to "egg sake" in Japanese, is a comforting, boozy drink traditionally meant to help combat colds in Japan. Warm and creamy, tamagozake reminds us of alcoholic eggnog or Vietnamese egg coffee. The taste is divine: Robust sake cuts through the rich creaminess of a beaten egg, sweetened with honey or sugar. The hot sake doesn't wholly cook the egg but gradually tempers it, and you're left with a creamy and lightly foamy concoction.

While mixing hot sake with egg may sound simple, creating a perfect tamagozake is more than the sum of its mixed ingredients. You start by whisking the egg with the sugar or honey until fluffy. Then, while still whisking the egg, slowly pour in hot sake. The sake can't be boiling; this would cook and curdle the egg. Ideally, this drink goes down smooth, without egg chunks or lumps. Your tamagozake is ideally done when it is light yellow with a small amount of foam on top. Each sip is a harmonious and elegant balance of smooth sake and sweet, creamy egg.

When choosing the right sake for tamagozake, we recommend leaning toward a quality one known for smoothness and subtle sweetness. You can't go wrong with a junmai, a sake made purely with rice, koji, water, and yeast, and no brewer's alcohol. 

Exploring the versatile world of tamagozake with spices, ginger, and beyond

Tamagozake on its own is a delicious testament to the simplicity and ingenuity of Japanese gastronomy. Like many classic recipes, however, this drink allows variations and adaptations to suit different palates. One way to change things up is to dust the top with some spices like cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Comforting and warming, these spices can add depth and a hint of festivity to this drink, and further remind you of eggnog.

Ginger is a common and popular addition since it aligns perfectly with tamagozake's origins as a cold remedy. Ginger adds a zesty, spicy, and refreshing kick, making the tamagozake perfect for those with cold symptoms like coughs and sore throats. Lemon comes to mind too, so why not add a little lemon zest to a tamagozake?

Experimenting with tamagozake can also lead to more unconventional variations. Try adding a splash of soda to create a fizzy version. Mix in miso for a hint of savory if you'd like. These variations showcase the versatility of this traditional Japanese drink, tamagozake , once meant solely as a cold remedy, now to be enjoyed whenever one seeks a little comfort and a little booze.