What is Amazake?
Talking about one famous traditional Japanese drink, “amazake” (甘酒）, the halal-ness of the drink is something that suddenly comes up to our mind with the “sake” （酒）on its name. Amazake comes from the kanji “ama” (甘) which means “sweet”, and “sake” (酒) has which literally means “sweet sake”. Even so, the amazake contains a little to no alcohol
Amazake is actually a healthy drink that rich in metabolism-boosting digestive enzymes, vitamin B, and nine essential amino acids which help to promote glowy skin and hair. On some occasions, you may find Japanese public figures are said to consuming the amazake to maintain the health and keep their style.
Does Amazake have Two Versions? With and Without Alcohol
Amazake is basically made from rice, rice koji (malted rice), and water. This version of amazake contains no alcohol, it is even served to Japanese kids as a celebratory drink on some special occasions, such as New Year’s.
*rice koji is cooked rice mixed with mold Aspergillus oryzae that releases enzymes to ferments the rice by decomposing its carbohydrates and proteins
However, there is also amazake made from sake kasu (the lees or leftover from the sake brewing process) which makes it contains a little amount of alcohol (less than 1%, according to Live Door)
Some non-alcohol amazake (from 100% rice)
How is the Taste?
Like its name, amazake tastes sweet as it has a high glucose level which is essential for an energy shot, with a creamy yet thick texture. The writer found that amazake from Marukome has a slight rice grain inside which makes it way creamy, while Morinaga hasn’t which makes it smoother. It has a refreshing taste and went down easier. Perfect for cooking, as one ingredient in making cakes/cookies, as well as drink as it is. The amazake is perfect in both ice and hot, you can find yourself feel warm after drinking hot amazake during winter!
Where to Get It?
The Amazake can be easily found in the beverage corners in a supermarket in Japan or from Amazon Japan for a simple shopping experience. Some are available in small size which is perfect for going out and large size (1 L) for home consumption.