When I say “Sake,” you say “Bomb!” Sake! Bomb! Sake! Bomb! Sake! BOMB! Sake bombs are a fun way to get blitzed with your friends. You may be wondering, what exactly is a sake bomb? Where do they originate? And where can you go get some right now? No worries – Naked Ray will save the day.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine. Its origin is uncertain, but it was probably created in third century China or Japan. The first sake was called kuchikami no sake, meaning mouth-chewed sake. It was made by people chewing rice and other mixtures of nuts and spitting the mixture into a tub. The saliva enzymes caused the starches to become sweet like sugar, and then the mixture was combined with grain and left to ferment. This original, mouth-chewed sake was low in alcohol and high in disgusting. Imagine wanting to relax after a long day of work with a cold brew, and instead you get someone else’s spit and chewed rice in a cup. Lucky for the Japanese – and now us – sake has come a long way since the third century. Now sake is brewed in a way similar to beer, and tastes much better. The alcohol content has also increased to about 20 percent.
Sake bombing is very new compared to sake by itself. It was most likely started in the U.S. by some creative college students, and is now commonly served at many sushi restaurants and bars throughout the country. There is little known about the origin of sake bombing, but one thing is for sure: It’s a lot of fun. Most sake bombing starts with a cup or glass filled about halfway with beer. Any beer will do, but to get more in the spirit, use a Japanese beer like Sapporo. Now place two chopsticks parallel on top of the beer, about an inch apart. Last, fill up a shot glass with sake and place it on the chopsticks.
Now designate one person to start a sake bomb chant. You can use the one I mentioned in the first line of this article, or another one I have heard is “Ichi, Ni, Sa! Sake, Sake, BOMB!” After the chant is done pumping your group up, bang the table with both fists, as if doing a drum roll. The sake should fall into the cup of beer, and then you chug the new mixture. Be careful during this part, though. You don’t want to get near the end of the drink and have the shot glass smack you in the face. It’s kind of like drinking the last bit of a beverage with ice in it, and the ice is all stuck together until you tilt the drink past that one point and it all falls and smacks you. You know what I’m talking about – just be careful, because a shot glass hurts worse than ice.
Now that you know more about how fun sake bombs are, you probably want to go drink one right now. The best and only place in Isla Vista to get a sake bomb is at Caliroll Express. Caliroll has been one of my favorite restaurants in I.V. since I was a freshman, and it has come a long way since it was opened about four years ago. Since Jason Yoo and his brother bought the place about a year ago, the place has become even more fun to go eat delicious sushi and get drunk on sake and beer. As you may have noticed, they even set up small concerts and performances on their patio. Last weekend I enjoyed some sake bombs at their Funky Town Festival. They featured a variety of entertainment, such as belly dancing, beat boxing, hip hop, funk, reggae and various types of rock. These kinds of events happen monthly, usually on fun holidays or sunny weekends. For example, they will be having a St. Patrick’s Day celebration with green sake bombs and Guinness, and another all day festival on Cinco de Mayo. To top it off, they’re starting a frequent customer card for sake bombs, they have $2 off specials on Thursday nights, and they’re even going to start delivering!
I hope you learned at least a little bit about sake bombing. Next time you go out to eat sushi – or even the next time you do the loop – give one a try.