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Japanese Sake (日本酒)

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Beer (麦酒) is the most popular drink in Japan, and Japanese sake (rice wine) is the second most popular.
Sake is an important part of Shinto religion and Japanese culture.
Sake is a clear liquid and has about 15% alcohol in it. It is made from rice and water. Water is very important to make good sake.
Sake breweries in Japan are located near some of the best spring water in the world. After rice is washed, soaked, steamed and cooled, fermentation starts by adding koji rice.


(7 years matured Sake)

Japanese Sake

Sake is served in a ceramic flask called tokkuri, and you pour sake into a small cup called o-choko and drink from it. It is polite to pour sake into each other's cup when you are drinking with others. You always need to know whether your company's cup is empty or not. When someone wants to pour you more sake, you should hold your ochoko cup up. If you are drinking with Japanese people, these are helpful tips to remember.

Japanese Sake

Sake can be served hot or cold. Hot sake is called atsukan, and cold sake is called hiyazake. Winter is the best time
to enjoy hot sake. Hiyazake seems to taste sweeter, so people tend to over drink. Be aware that sake contains as much alcohol as wine does.

Japanese Sake

Sake

Legal drinking age is 20 years old in Japan. To drink sake in Japan, I recommend that you go to an izakaya, which is a Japanese-style bar. Izakaya serves various small dishes of food, so you can have your dinner there too. The prices are usually very reasonable, and the atmosphere is very casual. Sometimes you see red lanterns hung at the entrance of izakaya. Try to visit an izakaya when you go to Japan. Do not forget to say "kampai" (cheers) before you begin drinking.

By J.S. on Feb 19, 2010

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