Sake: We Embrace It.

Our journey thus far has been perfectly complemented by a steady stream of sake. Sake’s been like an old traveling companion, slipping its way into photos and grinning with all its delicious intricacies.

It all began with our sake certification back in December, an immersive program and the catalyst for the months of sake tasting that followed (detailed below). We’re pleased to announce the culmination of those months of painstaking study: our comprehensive sake program at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar.

Despite strides in the last decade (read: people discovered sake exists outside of the sake bomb), this thousand-year-old beverage is still very misunderstood. In our opinion, too many restaurants price their sake programs in a way that makes trial and experimentation unaffordable–ending the diner’s sake experience before it could even begin. That’s where Union comes in.


We are intent on encouraging our guests to pair sake with new flavor profiles – by the glass or the bottle – and helping them understand what sake is all about.

  • A selection of sakes from small producers across Japan, sourced during our month-long trip around Asia and priced for trial/experimentation.
  • A small reserve list for the sake connoisseur (just in case John Gauntner visits).
  • A mixology program featuring
    sake cocktails such as Night Scene (Cocchi Americano, Sake, North Shore Vodka, Combier Orange Liqueur, Orange Bitters) and The 16th Century (Shochu, Lemon, Ginger Liqueur, Sparkling Wine).


A Brief History of
Our Sake Consumption

Our sake sojourn began long before this blog, but here in MCC-world, it started with this post: Mike and Chao Become Sake Snobs. We spent a few strenuous days learning everything we could about sake from the Sake Evangelist himself, John Gauntner, and left as certified sake sommeliers.

After that, it’s kind of a blur: Sipping sake with Eric Swanson in Las Vegas, serving sake at our MCC popup dinner in Chicago, and then there was Asia. We drank sake for breakfast in Tokyo, enjoyed canned sake on a Japanese bullet train, and drank super-stealth (but altogether delicious) sake cocktails at Osaka’s famous Shukoujin.

And then there were the brewery tours: Masuichi-Ichimura in Nagano, Sookuu Brewery and Tsuki No Katsura in Kyoto, Daimon Sake Brewery in Osaka… And all of those experiences, those were just the highlights. Long story short, we’ve been living the sake life for quite some time, and we’re compiling the best of the best for our restaurant.

One thought on “Sake: We Embrace It.”

  1. I enjoyed this advertorial. MAkes me really want to drink a sake at Union, tho I do enjoy your cocktails as tried at Mike’s.
    It all seems to be coming along fabulously.
    Regards Marlene (Britt’s Mum)

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