February 15, 2015
There are a lot of sake myths and mis-information out there so here are a few facts we hope will clear things up!
- There are tens of thousands of sakes produced in Japan. They all have very different characteristics so if you’ve tried one and didn’t like it then the chances are you might find another one that you do like!
- Sake is not a spirit! It is a brewed beverage like a beer.
- Most sake is 15-16% alcohol, only marginally stronger than wine.
- You can drink sake however you wish but it was designed to be sipped and savoured like a wine.
- Sake does not have to be drunk hot! The Japanese actually have nine different temperatures at which sake can be enjoyed, starting at 0°C all the way up to 55°C+. Different sake suit different temperatures. See our page on sake & temperature.
- There are only four main ingredients: rice, koji, yeast & water. It is rarely fortified.
- There is usually no vintage; sake is designed to be drunk within 1-2 years of bottling (although there are some aged sake called koshu).
- Sake has a mild taste with light acidity, bitterness or astringency. No more heart burn!
- Finally, it is free from sulphites & other preservatives; instead, it’s pasteurised. No more fiendish hangover!
In summary the rough, boiling-hot gut-rot of yore is no more! Instead, as interest has grown and technology (both manufacturing and transportation) has improved, the quality of sake available in the UK has improved immeasurably.
We hope that has cleared up some of the sake myths and encouraged you to give it a go! Pop on over to our shop to see what you can find.