Melon Is The Bright Fruit Pairing You Need To Try With Sake

Buddhist monks have been pickling melon in sake lees for centuries, so why not try the fresh combination of ripe, juicy melon with your next pour of sake? Sake isn't just for sushi. From delicate, fruity notes to savory umami sips, sake can be paired with dishes from steak to pizza. 

The world of sake offers a variety of tastes and flavors to choose from. The alcohol can be found in a range of sweet and dry gradients along a scale referred to as nihonshudo. Sake can present mature, mellow flavors while offering softer palates to round out meals. This kind of gastronomic versatility lends to plenty of delicious food and drink pairings and recipes in which the alcohol can be used. Like serving fruit with the rice wine.

Melons offer sweet, juicy bites that are complemented by sake's savory notes. When looking to match sweeter fruits and desserts with sake, reach for sparkling pours or look for specific sake names. The brightness of junmai ginjo and daiginjo sake can offer fruit-forward aromas that easily complement seasonal and fresh fruit, and namazake and honjozo sakes also play well with cubes of sweet melon.

A pairing platform for culinary creativity

Your pretty party dessert trays embellished with melon, grapes, and figs will sing once sake is brought to the table, but let this bright pairing inspire you to get creative both in the kitchen and behind your home bar. For a refreshing cold treat, consider blending melon, juice, and sake and flavor as you see fit with honey, agave syrup, cinnamon, or ginger. Citrus juices like lime, grapefruit, and orange partner well with the alcohol. Freeze the concoction to serve later or make a smoothie-like drink with mint and lemon juice to serve on warmer days. 

From specialty stores, you can look for narazuke, fruits and vegetables pickled in the lees of sake. The salty snack is one that can bring out the delicate subtleties of sake and is often enjoyed alongside booze, rice, and miso soup. Once your palate has been opened to this deliciously refreshing mashup of melon and sake, your next dinner guests will also gush over your thoughtful culinary prowess.