Some operators are pouring novelty-seekers a product that until recently was seldom seen outside Japanese eateries — premium sake. They’re mixing the fragrant rice-based beverage into signature cocktails, substituting it for wine and spirits in sangria and pouring it as an accompaniment to cuisine. In some cases, they are touting it as a gentler alternative to high-proof liquors. Indeed, they are taking it far beyond its Japanese roots into a variety of settings in which fresh, ...

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