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alt. A traditional sweet nutritious low-alcohol drink from Japan, made from fermented rice. n. A traditional sweet nutritious low-alcohol drink from Japan, made from fermented rice.


is a traditional sweet, low- or non-alcohol (depending on recipes) Japanese drink made from fermented rice. Amazake dates from the Kofun period, and it is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using koji and the koji mold that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake.

There are several recipes for amazake that have been used for hundreds of years. By a popular recipe, kōji is added to cooled whole grain rice causing enzymes to break down the carbohydrates into simpler unrefined sugars. As the mixture incubates, sweetness develops naturally. By another popular recipe, sake kasu is simply mixed with water, but usually sugar is added. In recipe, amazake becomes low-alcohol.

Amazake is believed to be very nutritious. It contains Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Folic acid, Dietary fiber, Oligosaccharide, Cysteine, Arginine and Glutamine. It is often considered a hangover cure in Japan. Outside Japan, it is often sold in Asian grocery stores during the winter months, and, all year round, in natural food stores in the U.S.A. and Europe, as a beverage and natural sweetener.

Amazake can be used as a dessert, snack, natural sweetening agent, baby food, salad dressing or smoothie. The traditional drink (prepared by combining amazake and water, heated to a simmer, and often topped with a pinch of finely grated ginger) was popular with street vendors, and it is still served at inns, teahouses, and at festivals. Many Shinto shrines provide or sell it in the New Year. In the 20th century, an instant version became available.

Similar beverages include the Chinese jiuniang, Korean sikhye, and Vietnamese cơm rượu. In grape winemaking, must – sweet, thick, unfermented grape juice – is a similar product.

Usage examples of "amazake".

He walked through the shrine's precinct, where the neighborhood's residents flocked around stalls that sold snacks and amazake, the sweet, gingery fermented New Year's rice brew.