Amazake, or “sweet sake,” is a traditional, nonalcoholic, sweet Japanese drink. It is very similar to the Chinese jiuniang, Korean sikhye, and Vietnamese cơm rượu.
There are several recipes for amazake that have been used for hundreds of years. In the most popular recipe, Koji is added to cool down cooked whole grain rice. This causes enzymes to break down the carbohydrates into simple sugars, making the naturally sweet flavour of amazake.
Amazake can be diluted further with hot water, sieved and sipped for comfort. The ”sweet sake” is served on New Year’s Day to toast and celebrate for new year of health and prosperity. Amazake undiluted, is also used as a dessert, smoothie, or baby food.
Amazake contains vitamin B1, B2, B6, folic acid, dietary fiber,and oligosaccharides. It also contains cysteine, arginine, large quantities of glucose and amino acids such as glutamine. Koji, one of key ingredients, helps digestion. It is also known for promoting healthy hair and skin.