Introduction of drinking sake
Sake, which has a wide variety of types and ways of drinking, is now popular with foreigners as a Japanese culture.
However, there may be some people who do not know how to enjoy sake deliciously because of the wide variety of types that make it difficult to know what to choose, and the prejudice that it is difficult to drink.
This time, in order to know how to enjoy sake, we will introduce the types of sake, how to drink deliciously, and how to arrange it.
Not only those who have never tasted sake and beginners, but also those who love sake will be able to discover their own way of enjoying sake by deepening their knowledge of sake.
What is sake?
Do you know what kind os sake is in the first place?
The liquor tax law stipulates the following requirements for sake.
Including rice as a raw material
Including the process of polishing
Sake has the image of 'drinking at a celebration’ , but it is one of the sakes that you can enjoy on a daily basis. Feel free to enjoy it according to your daily dining table.
Another major feature of sake is that it is popular not only in Japan but also overseas as a world-class Japanese Alcoholic Beverage.
About the types of sake
Sake with a specific name of variety is divided into eight types according to the requirements such as raw materials and manufacturing method (a sake with a rich taste and a ratio of koji rice of 15% or more).
The characteristics of each type can be broadly divided into two types: “main brewing type that uses brewed alcohol as a raw material" and “pure rice type that does not use brewed alcohol". This brewed type has a rich flavor and aroma, and the pure rice type is characterized by a mild taste that makes the best use of the umami of rice.
The traditional way to drink sake
In order to enjoy the rich variety of sake flavors, it is best to start with the basic way of drinking. You can enjoy various ways of drinking depending on the temperature and the difference in the sake set.
>> Enjoy at temperature
One of the attractions of sake is that it can be enjoyed at a wide range of temperatures (5 ° C to 55 ° C). There is a difference in taste depending on the temperature, so finding your favorite way of drinking is one of the pleasures of sake.Every production has little bit explnation about which way is the best to drink.
>> Enjoy the cold sake
Cold or chilled sake, When cooled, the taste of sake becomes sharper. It is recommended to enjoy the light and smooth type of refreshing sake true brew(honjozo-shu, etc.) and fragrant scented sake (ginjo-shu, daiginjo-shu, etc.) with cold sake.While you are buying the product please make sure which type of the sake is it;Honjozo-shu,ginjo-shu,daiginjo-shu etc.
Cold sake is further subdivided according to temperature as follows,
Snow cold (5 ° C): The temperature is so cold that condensation can form on the vessel.
Cold flower (10 ℃) ・ ・ ・ It is the temperature immediately after taking it out of the refrigerator.
Cool (15 ℃) ・ ・ ・ It is the temperature when you take it out of the refrigerator and leave it for a while.
>> Enjoy in the normal temperature
Speaking of “cold" sake, it means normal temperature. It is about 20 ° C to 25 ° C, which makes you feel a little cold when you put it in your mouth. You can feel the intermediate taste between cold sake and hot sake.
If you want to taste the flavor of sake such as long-aged sake or pure rice sake, or the taste of rice, we recommend chilling rather than normal temperature sake. It is said that Japanese food is enjoyed with the tongue and eyes, true, and same with sake. By sticking to the sake set, you can enjoy the taste even more.
>> Enjoy the sake set
Material and shape of the vessel
The taste and usability of sake changes depending on the material and shape of the sake set.likewise while you are drinking wine in a suitable glass.
Depending on the equipment used such as glass, pottery, and porcelain, the temperature of the original sake set and the way the temperature of sake changes will differ. Also, the area where sake comes into contact with the air changes depending on the shape.
For example, if you have a small choko(small standard vessel for drinking sake), you can enjoy sake that is difficult to change in temperature due to its small capacity, and if you use thick pottery, you can enjoy sake for a long time while keeping the temperature. If the shape is large and the caliber is large, the aroma will spread easily and you will be able to thoroughly enjoy sake even before you taste it.
>> It is also recommended to enjoy the flavor with a wine glass
Recently, the number of people who drink sake in wine glasses is increasing. For example, for the highly fragrant type of Daiginjo sake, you can feel the rich aroma firmly by using a wine glass.
“Spilling" to drink in a box
“Mokkiri",mokkiri is a way to place a glass in a masu(wooden box shaped sake cup) is a way of drinking sake by pouring sake into a glass placed in a box. Spilling is a drinking method that has been passed down since the Edo period, and is served at celebrations. This article also introduces mokkiri, so if you are interested, please take a look.
Other ways to drink
There is also a way to drink sake that you like.
>> Sleet liquor (easy to freeze at home to make sherbet)
Sleet liquor offered at bars and izakaya is a sake that freezes like sherbet in a glass the moment it is poured. It has a cold mouthfeel and is the perfect way to drink in the hot summer.
Sleet liquor can also be made in a household refrigerator. Pour sake and put it in the freezer for 4-5 hours with occasional stirring to make it sherbet-like.
>> Drink on the rock
On the rocks is a way of drinking ice in a glass and pouring cold sake. The refreshing and refreshing taste is attractive.
>> Sake cocktail
Sake-based cocktails are easy to get familiar with even if you are new to sake. For example, Samurai Rock (half-sliced blue citrus fruits such as lime or a blend of juice and brewed sake) with a refreshing taste, and matcha liqueur sake (a blend of 2-3 teaspoons of matcha and pure rice wine). ) And so on, so it will be fun to find your favorite taste.
Recommended way to drink sake for beginners and those who are not good at it
Sake, which has a wide variety of types and ways of drinking, may make beginners feel that they don’t know which way of drinking is right for them. Therefore, we will introduce the recommended way to drink for beginners.
Ginjo sake (known as fruity) is recommended
Ginjo sake uses a manufacturing method called “Ginjo-zukuri," which slowly ferments at low temperatures and traps the aroma in the mash. Therefore, it is characterized by a fruity aroma and taste called “Ginjo incense". This sake is recommended for beginners and women as it has a gorgeous sweetness.
It is also recommended to chilled and drink it.
pure sake’Junmaishu’（純米）is characterized by its sweetness and umami derived from rice. A strong sweetness makes it harder to feel alcohol and makes it easier to drink. By making it colder, the taste becomes milder, and even those who are not good at sake can easily take on the challenge, so it is recommended.
Sprinkle on vanilla ice cream
You can also sprinkle vanilla ice cream with ginjo sake or junmai sake like a sauce and enjoy it as a “Japanese-style affogato". The sweetness of the mellow vanilla ice cream is refreshing, and it changes to a mellow and refreshing taste.
Squeeze citrus fruits such as lemons and limes
Most sake has a slightly weak acidity, so when you enjoy it with cold sake, squeeze lemon or lime to supplement the acidity. On-the-rock with lime squeezed is popularly known as “Samurai Rock".
“Sake highball" with club soda:
A one-to-one blend of sake and splash of soda makes a sake highball with a refreshing taste. It is also recommended to use lemon or lime to add acidity. You can enjoy a refreshing taste.
Recommended dishes for each type of sake
Sake goes well with food in general, but the point is to choose a dish that matches better with the aroma and taste. Let’s take this opportunity to check out the “excellent dishes" that make sake even more delicious.
Sake can be divided into four types;Kunshu(Fruity), Soshu(light and smooth), Junshu(full bodied), and Jukushu(matured) depending on the characteristics of the aroma and taste. The proper pairing with each dish is different, so we will introduce them in order.
Dishes pair well with Kun-shu(Fruity sake)
Ginjo sake and Daiginjo sake are examples of Kunshu, which has a gorgeous aroma. It is recommended with sashimi, ohitashi, carpaccio, etc. that make the best use of the taste of the ingredients.
Dishes pair with so-shu(Light and smooth sake)
Soshu is a refreshing sake with a light taste. This applies to genuine sake, sake, and ordinary sake. It goes well with a wide range of dishes, but the seasoning is light and it is best to combine it with a dish with a gentle taste. Try it with sweet dishes such as farcellets de collateral and shumai.
Dishes pair with jun-shu(Full bodied sake)
Junshu has a rich taste and refers to pure rice sake and sake made from raw sake (Kimoto). The dishes that go well with each other are those with a strong flavor and meat dishes. It is also ideal for Western dishes using butter and cheese.
Dishes pair with Juku-shu(Matured type sake)
As the name suggests, Juku-shu is sake that has been fully aged, such as long-term aged sake and old sake. Because of its deep taste, it is perfect for dishes with a rich taste. How about combining it with stewed pork, grilled eel, and aged cheese?
'Softenig water’ is also important for enjoying sake
Despite the high alcohol content of sake, it is common to drink it straight, so “softening water" is also important.
Soothing water is the water you drink between sake. There is no designation for the brand of water, but the condition is that the water is delicious.
In Western liquor, it is called “chaser".
Benefits of “softening water"
Soothing water has the following advantages.
Prevent deep sickness
The soothing water lowers the alcohol concentration and prevents you from getting drunk slowly and drinking too much, which helps prevent deep sickness.
The next bite will be delicious
The function of resetting the mouth with water allows you to clearly taste food and sake.
Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, so if you are over drink, you may get dehydrated, but you can rehydrate with soothing water.