55 MILL ST, BLDG #4
416 365 7253
MON-SAT 11-7, SUN 12-6
Knocking back sake at Sushi Queen on Queen West is one thing, but experiencing the nuances of freshly pressed rice wine is entirely another. Now that Ontario Spring Water Sake has set down in – appropriately – the Distillery District, Toronto is the first eastern city in North America to enjoy sake that’s made at home.
The brewery’s stone-walled space is intimate – there are only four or so wooden stools at the tasting bar. Before choosing a bottle to take home, take a seat and try the sake flight, an introduction to three wildly different brews ($10). Samples include Nama-Nama, the basic unpasteurized blend, Teion Sakura, which has the lightness and acidity of a fine white wine, and the potent Genshu Nama-Nama.
The bar menu changes as certain sakes get used up. Case in point: The distillery’s very first brew, Demodori Musume, is already down to its last few bottles. But stock rotates as new products are introduced. Caramel-toned Fukurotsuri ($4/glass) is distilled hanging in a bag rather than hand-pressed, a labour- intensive process reserved for very special sakes.
By Paige Magarrey
Photos by Naomi Finlay
As featured in our Fall 2011 issue