The pleasure of having the kind of job where we can say things like ‘I’ve spent a lot of time considering the delicious Japanese rice wine known as sake, recently’, and not be lying, is something we’re unlikely to ever get over.
But really – drinking sake is about more than just a good tipple. It’s a process, an experience; a ritualistic engagement with a seriously wonderful cuisine, from the teeny tiny cups to its seasonal varietals.
Foods with a process are always the most fun – adding condiments to oysters, compiling your own Peking duck pancakes, plonking your own combination of fresh, herby bits into your hangover-curing Pho. It’s nice to feel involved.
This week’s Weekender takes delight in just this. Go forth, and mix it up.
We’ve got permanent percolators on the go here at Ignite, and if you enjoy a cup of coffee – which is to say, if you have a job, a child, an alarm clock, or just enjoy breathing – chances are the infamous Espresso Martini is a welcome trip up your alley. But why let bartenders have all the fun? ABQ, the alarmingly hip bar in Hackney where guests are allowed to assemble their own cocktails using the most scientific molecular gastronomy, is dedicating the entire weekend to this permanently perky mixologist’s fave. We’ll see you (and the whites of your eyes) there.
Is fiddling with food and drinks, in your eyes, nothing but bad table manners? Maybe you don’t want anyone’s hands in your hooch, even your own. Perhaps, for you, there are other ways of getting involved. Possibly these ‘ways’ involve lederhosen, Munich beer tavern drinking songs, and German serving wenches in revealing and not-at-all-demeaning dirndls. All we know is, Oktoberfest in all it’s kitschy, insignia’d fun, is not an occasion to turn up to and turn your nose up at. And that beer is definitely better when it’s served with a side of bratwurst and Bavarian cheer.
Choose from 478 varieties of sake at the Barbican this weekend, as the world’s largest sake fair hits town after sold out events in Honolulu and New York, before it heads on to Tokyo. Alongside unlimited samplings of premium sake, your ticket also allows unlimited small plates from 14 of London’s best restaurants like SushiSamba, Zuma, Sake no Hana and Chisou, who’ve created dishes especially to compliment the star drink. See you there.
Images courtesy of ABQ, Erdinger Oktoberfest and The Joy of Sake