What Is Japanese Sake?

Japanese Sake is an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice. The drink is sweet in flavour, light in colour, and is generally available at around 14-18% alcohol. Despite people’s tendency to often confuse sake with wine, it is actually closer to beer in terms of its production; ultimately, though, this is a unique drink that needs to be understood in its own right. 

As the national drink of Japan, sake is often served in a ceremonial way. It is frequently served in a porcelain cup known as a sakazuki, with the temperature varying greatly depending on the type of sake. 

How is Japanese Sake made?

These properties mean sake is often confused with wine, but it is important to understand the difference; the beverage is produced using multiple parallel fermentation, converting rice from starch to sugar.

These grains of rice are reduced in size to around 50-60% of their original mass, removing the outer layers to make them suitable for fermentation. Production of sake sees steamed rice prepared alongside koji, a fungus used to convert the starch in rice to suitable fermentable sugars. This koji is then mixed with the rice and water and incubated to form a sweet, crumbly texture. More water and rice is then added, with the mixture left to ferment for around a month with sake yeast. A second fermentation then follows, which lasts around seven days, with the steamed rice remaining in the same vat throughout the process; after one more week of resting, the sake is filtered and bottled.  

What Does Sake Taste Like?

Sake is sweet in flavour, with some variation of drier and sweeter variants along the way. That generally makes the drink’s acidity lower than that of wine, but higher than beer.

Despite the rice used in sake production being fairly bland and savoury, there is a wide variety of fruity flavours found in the drink depending on production. The drink represents an excellent accompaniment to almost any Japanese dish, with highly skilled brewers able to precisely set its flavour. 

Is Sake a Healthy Drink?

Sake is often considered to be one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks available, and for good reason. Not only is sake gluten free, but it also has a notably lower calorie count than other alcoholic drinks of similar alcoholic percentages. 

It’s a popular urban myth that sake leaves us free of those dreaded hangovers; while it would be unfair to claim this is categorically true, the high volume of benevolent water found in sake can lead to its consumers feeling fresher the next day. It is also lower in acidity than traditional wine, which benefits those with an acid reflux. 

Add into the equation the fact that sake's plentiful amino acids are essential for your skin, and you've got yet another reason to favour this beverage. Sake promotes healthy levels of collagen production, hydrating and firming your skin to help exude youth and energy.

Sake Shoten

If you would like to buy sake online in the UK, look no further than Sake Shoten. We produce our sake at a wide range of breweries, and we offer a lot of choice when it comes to quantities and overall taste. 

We do tend to 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.