Monday, November 3, 2008

Pretty In Pink

Paul and I have some fantastic neighbors.  Alex and Anthony are like the couple that live next door to the main family on a sitcom.  They're funny, generous and you get the feeling that they'd have your back if you ever got into a bar fight.  Plus which Alex works for a wine and spirits distributor selling to the likes of Per Se so she's always bringing around the best wines.  

Sadly, these two lovely people are relocating to Ohio so Anthony can pursue a career on the nature reserve that is the Abercrombie & Fitch headquarters, so we had them over for a little farewell dinner on Sunday night.  After dinner and a few oatmeal raisin cookies, Alex broke out a bottle of Hana Hou Hou Shu Sparkling Sake.  It is very pink.  It looks like something Malibu Barbie might drink when out on the town with Ken, but I am here to tell you that this stuff is bliss in a glass.

The sake is infused with rose petals (normally off-putting to me in food, I don't particularly like ingesting things that taste like lotion) and hibiscus (which I love, I buy the dried blossoms here for tea all the time).  It has just a hint of sweetness that rounds out the taste, making it quite dangerously drinkable.  And the carbonation gives it an undeniably refreshing quality, perfect for finishing off (or I suppose for starting) a major meal.

Having finally discovered this lovely elixir, I feel a frisson of delight, much the same way that I felt when I discovered prosecco years ago.  It shares that festive, innocuous quality, which inspired conversations such as these in my early prosecco drinking days:

Me:   I need to go home, can't drink anymore.
Alcoholic Friend:   Darling don't be ridiculous.
Me:   No really, I need a break.
Alcoholic Friend:   Oh fine.  Have a prosecco then.

I suppose the updated version would be "Oh fine.  Have a Hana Hou Hou Shu then."  Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, but given the pleasure that the tongue will experience immediately following such a statement, it really doesn't matter. 

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