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More fragrant sake like gingo or daiginjo is usually served chilled but not cold. It is important to not over chill these types of sake as it will nullify the subtle taste and fragrance.
Unpasteurized sake is best when consumed at a slightly cooler temperature (5-10°C) as it helps to bring out a crisp, refreshing flavour.
Room Temperature or Warm
Rich sake like junmai or honjozo are perfect to serve at room temperature. They are also great when warmed up to, or just above, body temperature (around 37-42°C.
How to Heat Sake
In a saucepan, heat water to just below boiling, when you begin to see bubbles, remove the pan from the heat. Place the sake flask into the water to warm to desired temperature.
If you are ever unsure about what temperature you should serve a specific sake, and you can’t find any information about it online, you can’t really go wrong serving practically any type of sake at room temperature.
The flavour of the sake alters once its temperature changes. Hence, why sake is typically served in a small cup, this is so that it can be consumed completely before the temperature changes. There are quite a few different vessels used for drinking sake, we explore some of the options below.
Ochoko and Tokkuri
Ochoko is a small sake cup. Its shape is designed to maximise the fragrance of the sake by encouraging it to gently waft upwards towards the nose. Tokkuri is a little flask that holds the sake that will be transferred into the ochoko. Sake sets with a tokkuri and ochoko are a popular Japanese memento.
Sakazuki - Flat Sake Cups
Sakazuki is a wide, flat cup. Drinking sake this way is an ancient and traditional way of enjoying the drink. This cup is raised to the mouth with two hands: one holding the bottom of the cup and the other holding it on one side.
Serving sake in a glass is a contemporary and elegant way to consume sake. The glass accentuates the flavour of the sake and is particularly suitable for cold sake. The narrow rim of the glass adds a smoother texture to the drink.
You may be more familiar with the idea of wine pairings but different sakes pair well with a variety of different dishes too. Some sellers often include possible pairings in the descriptions of each sake and there are many guides online if you are unsure which sake to choose. The basics are:
If you would like to buy sake online in the UK, Sake Shoten is here to help. We We offer a lot of choice when it comes to quantities and overall taste. However, we do sell out quickly and tend to rotate our stock, so please contact us soon to avoid missing out on our current stock. You can get in touch via our online contact form, or by calling us on 01494 974 141.