June 4 2009, 9:48 AM
In recent years, sake, like Prosecco and Cava, has joined the ranks of Champagne wannabes and gone bubbly. But of the alcoholic copycats, sake is the most distinct. Prosecco and Cava are simply traditional sparkling white wines from regions of the world other than Champagne, France. Bubbly sake, carbonated via a double-brewing process, is a new twist on Japan's traditional rice wine--and it's taken off worldwide, with bars serving it not only in Toyko, but across Europe and the United States as well. The alternative version of sake, like its predecesor, is served chilled, but its slightly sweeter taste and fruity aroma make the new pour a better pick for happy hour on a warm afternoon. Hit up Bones or Sushi Sasa to try glasses of the popular Hou Hou Sho label, or drop by Izakaya Den to sip on the Okunomatsu variety. Or if you prefer cocktail hour on your own patio, Argonaut carries petite bottles of the Hou Hou Sho.