Sake House in Epcot's Japan Pavilion
Situated in the center of the courtyard of Epcot's Japan Pavilion is a quaint little building with a stone base and thatched roof. It's held a number of different souvenir shops over the years, but in it's current incarnation, it's an outdoor sake bar. The menu is small and simple, offering a selection of Japanese Beer, Plum Wine and Sake, as well as a few Sake Cocktails.
Sake itself is a bit of an enigma. In Japanese the word sake refers to all alcoholic beverages, but in America it's the moniker given to rice wine. However, calling sake "wine" also isn't quite correct, because the process that's used in it's creation is more along the lines of the traditional brewing of beer. In addition, the alcohol content of sake is generally higher than that in both western beer and wine. So what is sake? It's alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. For the purpose of Drinking Around the World, let's just call it the delicious stop in Japan.
My traveling companions, Erik and Carlos, ordered an Orange Cocktail and a Green Tea Cocktail to sample. Both drinks were sweet and fruity; made from sake, flavoring syrup, and soda water. The use of Sake in the cocktail already makes it quite potent with an alcohol content of 18%"20%, but as we stood and watched the girl make the drinks we realized that almost half the glass was Sake. Don't be fooled by the sweet taste, fun color and little umbrellas, these are serious drinks. Erik had this to say about the drink:
It is one of those drinks where two or three sound like a good idea and then you wake up lying on the ground with lizards asleep on your head. This is a serious cup of fun.
Thanks so much to the Disney Food Blog for the use of their menu image, and thanks so much to Erik and Carlos who were my official sake cocktail tasters when I had reached my limit for the day.
Sake cocktails are a fun stop when drinking around the world. If you're an experienced sake drinker looking for something unique and authentic to try, you may also want to pass this location by and head to the Sake Counter inside Mitsukoshi department store. Have you indulged in Japan's wonderful flavors of Sake? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought!