10 year old Akane Niikura is Japan’s youngest certified sake connoisseur ever.
KIDS AND BOOZE apparently do mix. Using just her sense of smell and expertise (i.e. the way the sake flows and sticks to the side of the glass), Akane is able to pick a type of sake to perfectly accommodate your meal. Yup, without even tasting the drink, she was able to pass the Sake Service Institute test.
Akane is actually already famous for her epic cooking skills, but her mother is the owner of a sake bar and growing up around rice wine has given her a finely tuned nose for flavours. In the video, she proudly tells her audience her favourite fish to cook is a Japanese-style snapper (insert other gourmet words I’m unfamiliar with) and then suggests a special kind of sake made from pure rice to drink with it. Considering my greatest culinary feat this year has been a hash brown casserole, Akane might be the most intimidating 10 year old I’ve ever not met.
Akane’s mother hopes that her daughter’s fame will help make sake more “fashionable” to the 20-something age group in Japan, and Akane already has big dreams of opening her own sake bar someday.
I wonder when curiosity will get the best of her. Will she drop out of school the age of 15, become an alcoholic and live on the streets? Personally, I can’t wait until the day she’s actually old enough to taste sake. I recall my own first sip of beer–I was 13. It was disgusting. Think she’ll be disappointed too?
Maybe the next big career move for this young lady is endorsing Japanese hangover cures, like the questionable Genki drinks. Has anyone tried these yet? Dying minds must know!