Lauded as one of the world's most versatile drinks, sake is prized for its universal affinity with food. The tipple harmonizes particularly well with savory fermented products such as miso, cheese and cured meats, but Kamakura-based chocolatier Cacao shows off the drink's winsome, sweet side with a line of chocolate ganache confections, dusted with cocoa powder and infused with Yuki Otoko Junmaishu from Aoki Shuzo in Niigata Prefecture.

A mixture of chocolate and cream, the ganache has a luscious, smooth texture similar to the filling in French truffles. The sake adds a subtle aroma and umami roundness. The brew's mineral notes offset the sweetness of the chocolate, while its elegant acidity complements the bitterness of the cocoa powder. Last year, the chocolates won a gold medal at the Academy of Chocolate competition in London.

The Yuki Otoko chocolates are available all year round, but Cacao has also collaborated with Japanese artisans to create other limited-edition products, such as a series of chocolates flavored with matcha green tea from Kyoto and another with shōchū spirits from Nishi Shuzo, in Kagoshima Prefecture.