What is Sake?

The national beverage of Japan, sake (pronounced “sah-KAY,”), is a fermented rice beverage — typically referred to as a rice wine (but its actually brewed)— that has been enjoyed since at least the 8th century, though some historians believe it was consumed hundreds of years earlier.

It is brewed using polished sake rice, water, a mold called Aspergillus oryzae (also used in the fermentation of soy sauce), and yeast. Fine sakes are usually drunk cold, but some are designed to be drunk warm, especially on cold days and most have an alcohol by volume content of between 15% and 20% alcohol. Sparkling sake can be around 9% Alc .(Strong undiluted sake, called Genshu, might have an ABV of 20% plus.)