Sake is Japanese traditional alcoholic drink made from rice and water. Recently, as the number of Japanese restaurants increases, more people enjoy sake in the U.S.
On the other hand, you might have felt “I don’t like this flavor” when you tried some kinds of sake. In fact, in Japan, there is more and more variety of types of sake – because this country has approximately 1,500 breweries. If you go to this far island, you might be able to find a bottle perfect for you. However, it takes too much time and money.
Because of that, today I introduce the way you can enjoy any kind of sake even you do not take a flight to Japan – there are three small tips to make your sake better by yourself.
1. Put a piece of ice
Most people, even from Japan, believe they must drink sake straight or not at all. If you put a piece of ice into your glass, however, you will be surprised the change of flavor, which is caused by cooling and diluting.
Actually there are some special products of sake for “on the rocks” in Japan, but it is worthy to challenge whatever you like. It works not only for strong sake, but also for one with peculiar taste.
2. Change the food
There are the words “marriage” or “pairing” to express making a good combination of food and wine. Similarly, the flavor of sake changes significantly depending on what you eat with that. For example, the sake you feel weird with sashimi (raw fish) can be tastier when you pair it with beefsteak.
You can find the suitable food for particular sake through tasting with seasonings, such as salt, vinegar, soy source, sesame oil, etc. After licking one of them a bit, you taste sake and feel the harmony. If one sake is suitable for the salt, it will go well with food that has simple taste. If another sake suits sesame oil, it can be best with fried food.
3. Change the glass
Don’t you believe that the proper style of drinking sake is using choko (a traditional sake cup)? In fact, proper glasses vary by flavor of each sake. This is because the shape and material of glasses affect sake’s taste.
Currently, many restaurants in Japan serve sake with wine glasses. What you drank with choko can be tastier if you drink it with a wine glass.
Kaneko Ko-hyo, a Japanese tableware company produces a unique set of chokos “Ikkonpai,” with four shapes of choko. You’d be surprised when you try it – even though you pour the same sake into the four chokos, the flavor of sake in each choko can be felt totally different.
Sake is delicate and mysterious – when you change your drinking style a bit, the flavor can change dramatically.
What you felt “weird” or “disgusting” is not always bad sake. Each sake has a proper stage on that it can be a star – and you can prepare the stage for it, considering temperature, food and glasses.
Feel differences for yourself; sake is a super enjoyable game!