For a sweet, low alcohol, unusual alternative to sparkling wine, give sparkling sake a try. It’s light and refreshing, making it a pleasant aperitif. It also pairs nicely with spicy foods or even not-too-sweet desserts. We were intrigued by the interesting hint of woodsy star anise, along with fruit and florals, in the aroma of Hana Awaka ($10/250ml). Its clearly defined sake character had a note of chamomile. Sho Chiku Bai MIO ($11.99/300ml) was slightly sweeter, with a clean umami sake aroma, lively fizz, and sweet citrus, pear and apple flavors with underlying notes of fennel.