Japanese Language Blog

Japanese Food: Sake (さけ) Posted by on Nov 8, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today’s post will be on sake (さけ).  Sake (さけ) is an alcoholic beverage in Japan made from rice.  It is usually diluted with water so as to lower the alcohol content. (Though I can still manage to get dizzy from just one bottle!)  There are many different kinds of sake (さけ), and I’m here to share some of the more interesting varieities that are out there.  So for all you drunks, I mean connoisseurs, pay attention!

Nigorizake (濁り酒 ) is a white colored cloudy sake (さけ).  It is white because the rice is not thoroughly strained!  You can see the remains of the rice settling on the bottom of the bottle, which gives the sake (さけ) a nice texture.

Do you like sake (さけ) with a sweet taste?  Then you should try koshu (古酒).  Koshu (古酒) tends to be yellowish in color.  It has a honey-like flavor.

Maybe you like sake (さけ) with a distinct smell?  Well in that case I would recommend taruzake (樽酒).  Taruzake (樽酒) is sake (さけ) that has been left to sit in a wooden barrel.

Do you prefer sake (さけ) with more of an acidic taste?  Then try some shiboritate (搾立て).  Usually sake (さけ) goes through an aging process for a duration of about six months; sometimes less sometimes longer, depending on the sake (さけ).  However, shiboritate (搾立て) does not go through the aging process, so it tatstes more acidic to the tongue.


Now that I’ve shared some of this wonderful information to you all, who’s going to volunteer to buy the first round?  Just kidding.  Just remember, drink responsibly and kanpai (かんぱい) or cheers!

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  1. QuinsY:


  2. Tim Upham:

    Sake is mentioned as far back as 712 A.D., when it was mentioned in the “Kojiki.” It is a part of Shinto ritual, in the “omiki” or offerings to the Shinto deities, before it is drunk. It is drunk for Shogatsu or Japanese New Year. This is a special sake served known as “toso,” which has tososan in it, a powdered medicinal plant.