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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sparkling Sake + $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Is there nothing better than me bribing you to learn about Artisan Japanese Sake?! ;-)

My client, Vine Connections is an importer and distributor of sake…and by now I hope you’ve learned that not all Japanese sake is created equal. That hot, cheap stuff that you might have tried at a Japanese restaurant is crap. It burns like lighter fluid down your throat and I can’t drink that stuff…unless I’m playing a drinking game….because that’s the point of a drinking game, right? The alcohol in play has to be crap, otherwise “losing” is actually enjoyable! Okay, so here’s my recommendation.

Otherwise, I suggest you give good quality, artisan-made, chilled Japanese sake a try. Or perhaps I can convince you to try sparkling sake2me!





Sparkling Sake – sake2me

3 1/2 years ago, Jeffrey Smith had a vision of combining an easy-to-drink, lightly sparkling beverage that was made with premium Japanese sake. He quit his boring 9 to 5 (um. more like 5 to 9) job at a private equity firm and joined forces with wine and Japanese sake veterans at Vine Connections to come up with Asian-inspired flavors.

Every week, they’d get together and play with different flavors to see what would 1) taste great but also 2) have the flavor complexities that wine-connoisseurs would appreciate. A pic of the dining room experiments…with 60 different flavors on the table to play with! There’s Jeffrey on the far left.


From the 60 flavors, they got down to the top 8 flavor combination…and then whittled it down to the fab four sparkling sake flavors:

sake2me Sparkling Sake Flavors

Ginger-Mango: “Refreshing” Ginger has a refreshing and clean flavor and has been prized for its medicinal properties in traditional health practices for centuries. The Mango’s fleshy, sweet, sensual fruit flavor pairs well with the spicy ginger.

Green Tea: “Crisp, Pure, Clean” A blend of Asian green teas with notes of lemongrass and wildflower honey; well known for its antioxidant qualities.

Yuzu Citrus: “Tangy Citrus Fruit” Lemony citrus aroma with a hint of orange peel and mint; a rare, fragrant Japanese citrus fruit.

Asian Pear: “Sweet, Ripe” Ripe, juicy pear with subtle brown spice aromatics.

And here is Jeffrey holding the very first bottle of sake2me that came off the production line:


The first BOX of sake2me was born!! Awww…how cute.


sake2me sparkling sake became a BIG HIT…just last month they were featured on the Today Show! I love when dreams come true.



What I love about sake2me is that it’s all-natural, gluten-free and even the box is made of recycled materials.

So what does sake2me taste like? It’s lightly sparkling, fresh natural flavors and very little sugar. It’s NOT that sweet, syrupy, overly fizzy drink that you’d find in other drinks. Instead, it’s clean and refreshing. Would you like to try it?

Win $100 Amazon Gift Card

amazon-gift-cardI wish I could send you each a bottle of sake2me…but (ahem) something about shipping alcohol…I’d probably piss off those pesky people at the Bureau of Alcohol. So, instead I’m giving away $100 Amazon Gift Card — just because I appreciate you reading through this post and learning about sparkling sake.

Here’s how to play. In the comments below, tell me which is your favorite sake2me sparkling sake flavor…


A random winner will be chosen on my birthday, August 8th! Enter once please! Game Over! Winner has been announced already!

571 Responses to “Sparkling Sake + $100 Amazon Gift Card!”

  1. Emily — 8/5/09 @ 6:52 pm

    Hmmm…Asian Pear! Tough one!

    • somesummer — 8/6/09 @ 12:04 am

      Ginger mango has got to be it! Thanks

    • Linda — 8/6/09 @ 5:20 pm

      Havent tried them all but love the asian pear. Hmm…maybe I’ll test out the Yuzu tonight!

  2. Tara Mendioro — 8/5/09 @ 7:20 pm

    I Love the Yuzu Citrus Sake! It is so good SUPER chilled in a cocktail or as a shooter!

  3. Jessica — 8/5/09 @ 7:39 pm

    I’ve never seen a flavored sake in my local grocery store but I hope to see one soon. I have yet to taste these but the Asian pear sake sounds absolutely scrumptious.

  4. Hugging the Coast — 8/5/09 @ 8:08 pm

    For me, it’s definitely the Asian pear, but all the flavors sound delicious to me.

  5. Jean Marie — 8/5/09 @ 8:40 pm

    Yuzu – Citrus for me – thanks!

  6. Jessica — 8/5/09 @ 8:41 pm

    Asian Pear. Delicious! And have you ever had just a plain Asian pear? They are like normal pears on steroids they are so yummy.

    • Jessica — 8/5/09 @ 8:42 pm

      (Oops, I didn’t read the comments, but I am a different Jessica than the one who posted before me)

  7. SandyPie — 8/5/09 @ 8:43 pm

    Having never tried Sake before, but sincerely interested in it now because of your beautiful intro, I would say I think I would like any of them, but especially Yuzu Citrus.

  8. Sara — 8/5/09 @ 9:32 pm

    Asian Pear – based solely on your excellent description!

  9. Sophie Lau — 8/5/09 @ 10:11 pm

    Ginger Mango for me. I’ve only had sake at Nobu in vegas for my wedding but sake2me sounds great. I’ve got to try it!

  10. Sandra — 8/5/09 @ 10:15 pm

    I love Asian Pears, so that has to be my favorite!

  11. Kathleen — 8/5/09 @ 10:28 pm

    Ginger Mango

  12. kathy b — 8/6/09 @ 12:35 am

    I would love to try any flavor. Can you send me some to northern colorado. GLUTEN FREE YEA. I want some now. Haven’t had any sake since being told I have celiac. Would love some sake again.

  13. Linda K — 8/6/09 @ 12:48 am

    I found you site by accident, signed for your e-mail newsletter, love it!! I personally would buy all 4 of the Sake’s just because they all sound delicious.

  14. noobcook — 8/6/09 @ 12:59 am

    all the flavours sound interesting. If I can only choose one, I’d go for Yuzu Citrus ;p

  15. Linda K — 8/6/09 @ 1:05 am

    Would love to print Pot Sticker recipe, but no print button??
    They look delicious. I love all kinds of Asian Food!! Dim Sum is a
    favorite! :)

  16. Anna — 8/6/09 @ 6:42 am

    Definitely the Yuzu. I love new, interesting flavors and am so glad to see this available to the public! My best friend works for a company with a branch in Japan and she always gets “the good stuff” for christmas. Slips down so smooth!

  17. Karen — 8/6/09 @ 7:36 am

    1. Asian Pear 1a. Yuzu Citrus

  18. Jodi — 8/6/09 @ 10:44 am

    Yuzu Citrus…mmmmm………..

  19. Bibianna — 8/6/09 @ 11:43 am

    Asian Pear for sure!

  20. MsMc — 8/6/09 @ 12:14 pm

    Asian Pear

  21. PushC — 8/6/09 @ 12:14 pm

    Asian Pear!!!!

  22. ikkinlala — 8/6/09 @ 1:36 pm

    I can’t really pick a favourite without having tried them, but the one I’d most like to try is Yuzu Citrus.

  23. jamie v — 8/6/09 @ 2:00 pm

    I’d love to try all 4 of these… I can’t stand the stuff at Japanese rest. these may just make me change my mind about sake. I am most intrigued by the asian Pear flavor.

  24. Yin — 8/6/09 @ 2:03 pm

    Mmm.. the asian pear sounds yummy! I love the background company story. I am also not a fan of the cheap sake (the only kind I’ve ever had), and I’m glad to know that quality sake really does make a big difference.

  25. Judy Cheang — 8/6/09 @ 2:55 pm

    Asian Pear all the way. Biting into one reminds me of growing up and the begging I did in the aisles of the Asian market my mother frequented, just so I could have one. Now add a little sake and its a delicious adult experience!

  26. Marjorie Meeks — 8/6/09 @ 3:15 pm

    Asian Pear!

  27. Joe — 8/6/09 @ 3:37 pm

    Yuzu Citrus sounds awesome…but I think I’m going to have to go with Asian Pear!

  28. rt — 8/6/09 @ 3:54 pm

    ginger mango ofcourse!

  29. Stephanie — 8/6/09 @ 4:27 pm

    mmmm Asian Pear :’D

  30. Lori T. — 8/6/09 @ 4:35 pm

    Anything with mango and ginger has to be good, right?

  31. Christine — 8/6/09 @ 4:36 pm

    gotta be green tea!

  32. Paul Legato — 8/6/09 @ 5:16 pm

    I would agree with everyone else that Asian Pear flavor is delicious, however, the Ginger Mango flavor sounds delicious as well. I’m excited to try this next time I’m out having Sushi.

  33. Liz Schubert — 8/6/09 @ 6:42 pm

    Asian Pear for sure! I love the smell and taste of Pear!

  34. Sean — 8/6/09 @ 7:11 pm

    The citrus one sounds the best because of the tang!

  35. Elaine — 8/6/09 @ 7:16 pm

    asian pear is the way to go! yum!

  36. cynthia — 8/6/09 @ 7:25 pm

    Ginger Mango sounds super yummy.

  37. jane parks — 8/6/09 @ 8:09 pm

    I am Asian Pear in the flesh!

  38. Tracye — 8/6/09 @ 10:05 pm

    Asian Pear!!! I did try the Green Tea also, but the Asian Pear has my vote.

  39. JudyH — 8/6/09 @ 10:07 pm

    Ginger Mango for me!

  40. Eva — 8/6/09 @ 10:41 pm

    Ginger-Mango sounds really yummy!!

  41. Deanna Rio — 8/6/09 @ 11:06 pm

    Mmmmm…. Asian Pear. BTW, the 8th is my (soon to be 16yrs old) daughter’s birthday too. Happy early Birthday to you -

  42. Joan — 8/6/09 @ 11:35 pm

    Asian pear, please! Thanks, Jaden.

  43. eltooef — 8/6/09 @ 11:57 pm

    Yuzu Citrus

  44. Stephanie B. — 8/7/09 @ 1:59 am

    Totally the ginger mango would be my choice!! Although they all sound like they taste awesome, I mean even if I don’t win I still might pick up a couple of bottles :)

  45. Kamran Siddiqi — 8/7/09 @ 4:30 am

    I obviously can’t drink, but my mom has tried this before and says that she loves the mango.

  46. Babsie — 8/7/09 @ 7:45 am

    Oh, green tea sounds LOVELY.

  47. Floho — 8/7/09 @ 8:55 am

    yuzu for sure!

  48. Sandra — 8/7/09 @ 9:00 am

    I love mango, but I’m not a great fan of ginger, so it’s the yuzu for me!

  49. Nicole — 8/7/09 @ 9:42 am

    Love the Asian Pear!

  50. Romana — 8/7/09 @ 12:11 pm

    Green tea for me

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