For the 'sake' of taste
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India, Sept. 7 -- Hold the cup close to your face. Let the aroma sink in. Take a small sip, and let it linger in your mouth, touch your senses and exhilarate your tastebuds before you swallow it. That's what one of the Japanese Sake connoisseurs explained to me when I held my first cup of the quintessential Japanese drink, also known as Nihonshu (literally, Japanese liquor) at the Embassy of Japan. Going into the historical background, the visitors were told that sake production was a government monopoly until the 10th century when temples and shrines began to brew their own, which is how, by the 1300s, it became an important ceremonial drink in the country. Coming back to the present, the huge party hall had eight counters, four on each ...
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