Amazake is a classic sweet drink that have been drinking since Nara period, over 1,200 year ago. “Ama” means sweet and “zake”is from “sake”, Japanese alcohol drink. But the amount of alcohol is less than 1 percent so it is a refreshing drink.
In Japan, on the new years day shrines and temples give hot amazake so it seems to be a hot drink in winter but in Edo period, about 400 years ago, it was often drunk as a nourishing tonic because the dietary life was so poor. Amazake also has a lot of nutritions such as vitamins, like B1, B2, B6, diet fiber, glucose, oligosaccharide, glutamine and 9 kinds of oligosaccharide. Because of such great nutritions, amazake is called “drinking intravenous infusion”
2 Types of Amazake
Amazake is divided into two kinds, that is, made from sake lees and malted rice. They have two big differences.
First, alcohol. The one from malted rice has no alcohol and the other has. The alcohol percentage is less than one percent, so it’s refreshing drink, but be careful before you drive or children.
Second, the amount of sugar. The one from malted rice is sugar free, the sweetness is originally from the rice. On the other hand, sake lees is not sweet so normally sake lees amazake is added sugar. That means the one from sake lees has higher calories.
According to Japanese Superfood Association, JSA, defines amazake is “fermented rice”. So officially amazake by JSA is a drink from malted rice but sake lees amazake has lots of nutritions as well. So we should check them both.
Let’s Try Amazake!
Lots of models and celebrities love to drink amazake and in Japan, people get paying attention more. When you want to eat sweets, try amazake. It also has natural sweetness!