Independent retailers in London have put sake in the spotlight, as part of a campaign to promote the Japanese fermented rice drink.

The Sake Seafood Sensations campaign, created by Japanese food and drink promotional organisation JFOODO, has seen several venues line up tasting events.

Hybrid retailers include Panzer’s Deli & Grocery, Bedford Street Wines and People’s Wine.

“Here at Bedford Street Wines we have a great selection of wines and sakes,” said general manager Oliver James. “We focus mainly on wines from all over the world, however we have started to grow an exciting and adventurous range of sakes. We also offer magnums and cans.”

He said some members of the team have spent time in Japan or done their WSET level one award in sake.

James will host a sake and seafood event later this month and he said he hopes to see sake sales grow over the promotional period, which ends on November 20.

“We expect sales of sake to increase during the promotion and we are also doing a special ticketed Sake & Oyster event on November 10.”

Sake expert Christine Parkinson, who has been supporting a number of outlets with their sake-pairing menus, said: “Most people don’t realise how versatile sake is, and how delicious it can be with all sorts of cuisines. It has an umami component that always brings out the harmony of flavours in food.

“I think people will get a surprise when they try some of the pairings, especially with seafood dishes if they haven’t ever thought to try sake with these before.”