shirozake (Japanese sake) (白酒 (日本酒))

Shirozake refers to a sake served to celebrate the Hinamatsuri (the Doll's Festival).

It is usually made by adding the equivalent or greater quantity of sweet cooking sake (mirin) to steamed mochi-gome (glutinous rice) and mixing, or adding shochu (distilled spirit) and malted rice to steamed mochi rice and leaving it to ferment for a few weeks and then grinding with a mortar.

It is said that the method of manufacturing shirozake originates in the 'nerizake' brewed in the Hakata region from ancient times and that, from the Edo Period, it came to be used as an offering in the Doll's festival, a custom from the Heian Period, in place of the peach leaves soaked in sake which had been used from the Muromachi Period.

[Original Japanese]