How To Drink Sake

Here is how to drink sake. Sake can be drunk at room temperature, chilled or heated. Sake enhances its flavor and alcoholic effect when heated, offering a pleasing sensation. If chilled, sake spreads its scent better. The best approach to drink sake is to try temperature variations to find its unique qualities. But, if you want to give a try to the warm or hot variety you’ll need:         

  • Sake
  • Tokkuri (a special ceramic jar)
  • A set of sake cups, although simple glass shots can make the job.
  1. Pour sake into the tokkuri.
  2. Place your tokkuri in a pan with hot water, almost boiling.
  3. Heating time depends on how warm you want your sake. If you see only a few bubbles on the side of the tokkuri, the sake is warm. The Japanese term for this temperature is “nurukan.”  
  4. If you see more bubbles coming up in the center to the surface, your drink is hot, “joukan.”
  5. Unless you are an expert, do not use a microwave to heat your sake, you could boil it and ruin the flavor.
  6. Room temperature sake is called “jouon.”
  7. If you don’t have a tokkuri, use any glass and/or ceramic pitcher to heat your sake.
  8. If you want to taste your sake chilled (“reishu”) cool it in the refrigerator.
  9. Higher quality sake contains only the alcohol created by the brewing method and is more suitable to drink cold.
  10. Sake that has added distilled alcohol increases its flavor with heating.

Sake is part of the Japanese diet and a true gift to the world. Enjoy a glass of sake with your friends and say “Kampai!”

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