Sake is a traditional alcoholic beverage in Japan. It is made through fermentation, like beer and wine. Sake is made from rice, a staple food in Japan. It is an integral part of the Japanese lifestyle and culture. In recent years, Japanese cuisine is becoming more popular internationally. Accordingly, increasing number of people enjoy sake, which goes well with Japanese cuisine, all over the world.
The processes and methods of making sake are quite a bit more complicated than those for making wine and beer. Nowadays, though, sake production techniques have been largely clarified by science. The traditional skills of chief sake makers, called toji, as well as modern scientific knowledge, have made it possible to produce varieties of high quality sake.
It is not exactly known just when people began making sake in Japan. However, it is believed that an alchoholic beverage made from rice was already being made in the Yayoi period (300 BC-250 AD) when rice cultivation was brought from China to Japan. It was during the last half of the Nara period (710-794) when the methods of rice growing became stable. A special organization called Sake-no-Tsukasa was established to produce sake for the Imperial Court. During the Heian period (794-1185), sake was made in temples and shrines, as well as among the people. Sake breweries appeared in the Muromachi period (1333-1573). Because of this, the Muromachi Shogunate started charging taxes on sake production, as a source of revenue for the government.
In the last half of the 16th century, people started to polish the rice grains for sake making, and to press the fermentation mash to separate the sake. A heat sterilization (pasteurization) process called hiire was also invented during that period. By this time, the technique to make large wooden tubs had been developed, which enabled sake breweries to make and store a large volume of sake at one time.
Manufacturing sake became a thriving industry during the Edo period (1603-1868). During that period, they devised a technique to add distilled alcohol to sake in order to adjust the flavor and preserve it from bacterial contamination.
From ancient times, sake was regarded as a special beverage made from precious rice. People drank sake on special occasions, such as festivals and marriages. Now, we can enjoy sake any day as a tool for communication among people.
How to evaluate and enjoy sake
The opinions of specialists may be useful, but the most important thing is to find sake that you like. In other words, just as everyone has his/her own favourite foods, taste for sake depends on the person. How do we evaluate sake and how is it served?
Like other alcoholic beverages, sake is evaluated on the basis of color, taste, and aroma. A ceramic cup with two blue concentric circles on the bottom, called kikichoko is used for sake tasting by professionals.
Sparkling N Sake have stood together through thick and thin to hold the title of Japan's oldest continuously family-run, blended Liquor's makers. But we couldn't have done it without a little help along the way.
We exclusively represent brands like:
- Junmai Daiginjo - Kirameki (Premium Sake)
- Junmai Ginjo - Koiai (Premium sake)
- Ginjo - Geppaku (Premium sake)
- Liqueur - Sanijki No Momomo
- Junmai Daiginjo - KAGURA Unfilterd
- Daiginjo - KAGURA Unfilterd
- Daiginjo KAGURA Unfilterd