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What is sake?

Dear foodlovers,

It's Natasha here! Let's talk drinks.

Did you know one of my favourite beverages is sake? It's so tasty in combination with sushi and other asian dishes.

But do you know what sake is? Read along and discover everything about this delicious drink.

What is sake and where does it come from?

Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage also known as rice wine and was created in the 15th century in Kyoto. It used to be brewed in winter only but now they can brew it all year round which gives a certain seasonality to the sake, especially the ones that are made in an artisanal way.

Sake 101

  • Sake is often part of ceremonial use and can be served to gods during traditional rituals.

  • In Japan, sake is labelled ‘seishu’ and is made of fermented rice.

  • It contains on average 15 percent of alcohol by volume and its brewing process is similar to the beer process.

  • Sake is divided in four main grades; Junmai, Honjozo, Ginjo and Daiginjo.

  • These grades are made to determine the quality and purity of the rice wine.

  • There are over 80 types of sake rice, the larger and stronger the grain, the better.

  • Serving

You can enjoy sake in three different ways; by drinking it chilled, at room temperature or heated. This all depends on your preference, for example I personally prefer the chilled version.

Hot sake is mostly served during winter, as a lot of the flavours and aromas get lost by heating up the drink, the sake used to heat up is mostly less high-grade.

How to drink Sake?

Traditionally sake is served in small cups and poured into ceramic flasks; called choko and tokkuri.

Sake can have a lot of different flavours such as; herbs, spices or fruits and always contains a taste of umami which is the 5th flavour next to sweet, bitter, sour and salt.

What are the health benefits of drinking Sake?

The composition of sake has some health benefits which might sound surprising for an alcoholic beverage.

As it has an interesting combination of amino acids it’s stimulating your brain as well as giving your immunity a boost. Some of the direct benefits are the positive impact on preventing memory loss and the reduction of osteoporosis. Of course, whilst enjoying alcoholic beverages, keep in mind to drink responsibly.

Either way I can definitely recommend everyone to enjoy a cup of sake with their next sushi dinner.

In the mean time if you would like to learn more about sake; do not hesitate to keep a close look on our future sake tastings that will be offered.

Yummie thoughts and Kampai (Cheers!),

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