Sparkling Sake and cold Cucumber Sake cocktails are two great ways to beat summer's heat.
Sake is a fermented beverage made from rice (rice wine), whose long history dates back to the third century A.D.. Traditional Sake is made from Rice only, however; there are some sakes (mostly cheaper sakes) made from other grains, who have alcohol added to them.
In recent sake explorations I've discovered two ways beyond the traditional hot & cold versions: cucumber infused cold sake & sparkling sake.
The first is a sake drink made from marinating cucumber slices for many hours. After some practice runs here in the test kitchen I found that letting sake marinate in the fridge with sliced cucumbers for three to four hours produced the desired, cool cuke effect. Resulting in a light, crisp, refreshing drink with relatively low alcohol.
Another surprising find was sparkling sake. Although not widely available, sparkling sakes provide an interesting twist to the sake family. We tested the Poochi Poochi Nigori sake and found it delicious. Cloudy in color with a soft effervescence, a bit of sweetened egg cream on the palate, truly refreshing.