Sake is considered by the Japanese as the “drink of the gods.” For more than 2 millennia, sake has been a staple drink or beverage found in every Japanese banquet, weddings, family gatherings, important occasions, and many social events. And as the sake grows in popularity over the past few decades, this Japanese drink continues to intrigue millions of people around the world.
How to Enjoy Japanese Sake
Some people, especially from the West, find the Japanese sake quite intimidating. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they’re unsure of how the drink tastes like and how it affects them. In several occasions, when you ask a Westerner to drink sake with you, there is always an air of doubt, hesitation, or even disapproval. This doubt or hesitation, though, comes with a certain amount of curiosity, which propels one to give the sake a try.
Though there are no written rules or guidelines on how to make the most out of your sake experience, there are some ways that you can do to enjoy your sake. Here are some of these ways.
1. Start with a cleaner sake.
Sakes come in different varieties and brands. But if you're starting to explore this drink, you might want to start with the dryer variety first. You want the experience to be a memorable one, yet one that does not overwhelm you.
2. If it's your first time, choose a sake that's similar to your favorite drink.
To gain appreciation of this traditional Japanese wine, you want to get a sake that is as close to what you normally drink at a bar. For instance, if you drink whiskey, you can opt for a bolder or richer sake such as the "jummai."
3. Try flavored sake.
If you want a drink with a twist, try sakes with a fruity flavor. Some of the flavors include popular fruits such as green apple and peaches. They can sometimes be sweet, yet bold and rich at the same time.
4. Try both cold and lukewarm sakes.
Japanese people drink their sake either warm or cold. But be careful on choosing which varieties would you want to warm up because doing so will often result to a loss in flavor or aroma. So if you go to a sake bar, always ask which ones is best consumed cold or warm.
5. Drink with a friend.
Of course, sake tastes better if you drink it with a friend. You can enjoy each other’s company by telling your favorite stories, making Japanese commentary, sharing experiences, and making sure that everyone feels comfortable. After all, a sake is meant to be shared with other people.