How To Enjoy Japanese Sake - Part I
April 04, 2006 0

How To Enjoy Japanese Sake - Part I

How to Enjoy Japanese Sake - ” Part I

The Japanese drink, Sake, has become quite popular in the United States over the past several years becoming one of the staple drinks of many Americans. My husband and I began promoting Sake in the United States by publishing a book called Sake Water from Heaven by Rizzoli Universe back in 2003. Since the book, we created a one of a kind educational organization called RKA Sake Club (, a sake of the month organization which sends premium sake from microbreweries in Japan.

Perhaps you can show off to your friends one night while dining at a place where they serve Japanese sake.
Keiko Aoki
The bottles we choose to send to our members are shipped with a sommelier´s note. In this note, we include the background of the sake, recommended serving information & food pairing information. The club has been very successful with many new members and renewals each year. Most of the members have been given the annual membership to the club as a gift by their significant other. What a great way to enjoy sake together!!

Today, I wanted to share my knowledge of sake with you. Here is a crash course on how to enjoy Japanese sake. Perhaps you can show off to your friends one night while dining at a place where they serve Japanese sake.

Crash Course

  1. Sake is a beverage which you can enjoy drinking either hot or cold. In winter, it´s nice to drink at warmer temperature in order to warm up your body. In summer, nothing can compare to ice cold sake. Currently, in Japan, there is a trend of drinking sake at room temperature.
  2. Sake is classified into four general categories; fragrant, light & smooth, rich and aged. For example, rich sake is good to pair with entrée dishes, as you won´t get overwhelmed as you continue to drink it. Fragrant types are better served with an appetizer dish as it is overwhelming to continue to drink a fragrant type of sake all night.
  3. Sake can be served in glassware or a traditional lacquer ware. Sometimes I drink sake in a wine glass. The thin layer of the glass is perfect to taste sake. I personally like to drink sake without the wooden masu cup, as I enjoy the pure taste.
  4. Since sake presents a wide variety of flavors and can be served in various ways, there are many ways to enjoy it. As I mentioned in the beginning, you can enjoy sake drinking based on the temperature favored for the season. Also, sake can be used for a base of cocktails. You will be amazed how good it tastes... I personally like sake with fresh limejuice. It´s very refreshing!
  5. Sake can be paired with cuisines from all over the world, regardless of the foods or cooking styles! I love matching sake with French cuisine. Chanterelle is my favorite French restaurant and sommelier in New York City. Roger matches the right sake for me with my cuisine.
  6. When you pair sake with food, it brings out the flavor in foods. You can have a stronger aroma of beef and seafood when paired with sake. Sake is also used in many Japanese and Western cooking as a seasoning.
For the next article, I will give you information on several different types of sake. First, let´s master the six points above and experiment with it!

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