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Sake is a delicious alcohol that’s usually referred to as Japanese rice wine. It’s created through fermenting rice that’s polished to remove the bran. While wine is created through fermenting sugar that naturally comes from fruit, like grapes, sake is made by a brewing method more similar to beer. When the starch is transformed into sugars, it ferments into alcohol. And it's a wildly popular beverage that's enjoyed by the majority of Japan, and even around the world. There are also a lot of other things you probably don't know about sake.
While many drink the beverage before a meal, like as an appetizer, others prefer to drink sake with their food. There are multiple food and sake pairings that people enjoy. However, some people think that you shouldn't serve and drink sake while eating sushi. Since both the drink and food is made up of rice, it cancels out the delectable taste in both. If you're searching to drink sake the right way, follow these steps on how to drink sake either warm or chilled.
Different Types of Sake
Just like wine, there's a massive variety of different types of sake. While some people have their specific favorite sake, other's don't mind drinking any of the options. However, every sake has a distinct flavor and scent that it gives off.
The different sakes are Ginjo, Junmai, Daiginjo, Junmai Daiginjo, Honjozo, Nigorizake, and Genshu. Some sakes feature earthy tastes, while others consist of delicious fruity flavors. However, whether you're drinking sake warm or chilled also depends on the specific type of sake. There are sakes that you can't drink warm because it loses its flavors. Then there are sakes that you have to drink chilled, like Gekkeikan sake! This type of sake is dry with mellow flavors and natural aromas. You’d drink this one chilled and it’s actually seen as the world’s most popular Junami-shu. Not to mention that Gekkeikan sake is adored by royalty.
Drinking sake warm: Boil the water and fill a bowl with the boiling water.
When it comes to how to drink sake the right way, if you're intent on enjoying it warm, follow these upcoming steps. First things first, boil water until it's boiling hot and bubbling. It doesn't matter where you're boiling it, through a pot or a boiler, as long as water is boiling, then you're good.
Once the water is fully boiled, grab any type of bowl. With this, you're going to pour the boiling, hot water into the bowl.
Fill the tokkuri and place the tokkuri in the bowl of boiling water.
Now that you have a bowl filled with hot water, grab your tokkuri. A tokkuri is what you serve the sake in. They're usually beautifully decorated and make serving sake a more formal occasion. So, among the ways to drink sake the right way, you now fill your sake into your tokkuri!
When your tokkuri is filled with your preferred sake, place the tokkuri into the boiling water in the bowl. With this, you're warming up your sake rather than making the sake hot. And you don't want your sake to be hot, because you'll be killing the delightful flavors.
Remove the sake from the hot water and wrap a napkin around the tokkuri.
Your sake is now nice and warm, which is the perfect temperature. And it's ready to serve! Gently take the tokkuri from the hot water and wrap it with a napkin.
Of the ways to drink sake the right way, for a more formal look, a white napkin is usually preferred, but not required. Plus, wrapping the tokkuri with a napkin shows manners to the guests and courtesy with the way you're serving it.
Hold the tokkuri with both hands and fill the guests' glasses with sake and vise versa.
This is actually an important step in how to drink sake the right way. In order to serve it, you place both hands around the tokkuri and serve the guests' glasses. Pour precisely and generously!
Lastly, it's your turn to get sake. If you're drinking sake alone, it's natural to pour yourself a glass. However, if you're enjoying delicious sake with guests, you don't pour yourself sake. Instead, one of your guests has to serve it to you in your glass.
Drinking sake chilled: Make it room temperature from the fridge.
From how to drink sake the right way, there are many people who prefer to drink sake chilled. This way, the flavors are stronger and it's much more refreshing to enjoy. So, if you're taking your bottle of sake from out of the fridge, you don't want to serve sake that's way too chilled. This will ruin the good flavors.
Instead, you can leave it out for a while until the beverage is at the right temperature. Plus, since the sake glasses are usually kept out in the open, when pouring, the glasses can slightly warm up the cold sake. But either way, never put ice in sake. Eventually, the ice will melt and this will dilute the rice wine, destroying the flavor.
Chilling the Sake Through a Freezer
Lastly when it comes to chilling sake, and how to drink sake the right way, if the sake has been left out for a while and it's not chilled anymore, you can properly chill it again! Wrap a wet towel around the bottle and place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes—no more.
This way, you're chilling the sake and not completely freezing the beverage. Another great alternative to chilling your sake is placing it in an ice bucket and allowing it to chill there. You can take it out if you don't want your sake to be fully chilled.
Also, a stunning set to serve your sake in is this cherry blossom styled sake set by M.V. Trading! Beautifully designed and very durable, all of your sake drinking will always be the best if you're drinking it out of these glasses and served from this tokkuri!