It is all too easy to get all too serious about sake all too often. Ginjo this and ginjo that, highly polished rice, double-secret yeast, fancy fragrance, full palate, clean finish, yada yada yada. Sake in the end should be fun, and nothing reminds us of this better than nigorizake.

We've all seen it, the white, opaque sake, found occasionally on shelves around the country. Just what is it, what does it taste like, and how does it differ from regular sake?

Nigorizake is -- just as the name implies -- cloudy sake. The "cloudiness" is nothing more than part of the fermenting mash, unfermented rice solids left suspended in the sake.