Nerizake (練酒)

Nerizake is a kind of sake (Japanese liquor), and it is said that it reflects the original form of ancient sake.

During the Muromachi Period, "Inryoken Nichiroku" (Inryoken Diary) of 1466 contains a description of 'Nerinukizake (練緯酒) from Hakata, Chikuzen,' and "Hekizan Nichiroku" (Hekizan Diary) of 1468 contains a description of 'Nerinukizake (練貫酒) from Bungo.'
It is said that it was prized in Kyoto, and very popular as a souvenir or a gift from the western part of Japan in those days.

Nerizake from Hakata is made by using glutinous rice and grinding moromi (raw unrefined sake) with a mortar. Although not to the same degree as Amazake (sweet mild sake), it has a shiny texture like that of a degummed silk cloth and takes the form of a sticky paste or a rice porridge-like substance. The specific gravity and alcohol content are high, which makes it to be categorized as sweet sake. It is still made not only in the Chikuzen region but also other regions including the Izumo area.

Sake mixed with another sticky ingredient is also called nerizake. Imozake' made using yamaimo (Japanese yam; said to have the effect of increasing vitality) is a major example.

[Original Japanese]