The Basics of Sake
Welcome to the Sake Social fountain of knowledge. In this section, you can read about the glorious history of sake, learn how sake is made, and shatter any sake misconceptions you may have in the “Need To Know “ and "Need to Forget" sections.
Simply put: sake is rice and water that has been fermented into an alcoholic beverage. Although sake drinks far more like wine, sake shares a similar brewing process to that of beer. This ancient libation has its roots in China, but it has become all Japanese. In fact, the word for sake in Japan is Nihonshu or “wine of Japan.” Brewers have been making sake in its current form for roughly 1,000 years, and today there are over 1,400 breweries producing anywhere between 15-25 product offerings each.
Think of wine, think of France? Think of beer, think of Germany? Think of tequila think of Mexico? Similarly, sake conjures up images of Japan. As French wines, German beers, and other libations have become commonplace in the American market, the time is here to elevate sakes profile so that the beverage is better accepted, appreciated, and understood. Currently over 800 sakes are registered in the US and more and more brews continue to make their way to our shores. As the sake market expands, consumers will be able to enjoy far more flavorful brews than the ones we have grown accustomed to—including those really harsh all-you-can-eat sushi bar sakes that are usually served warm.
While the similarities to wine and beer are many, sake is truly a unique beverage in a niche all its own. As you learn more about sake, you will recognize and taste a variety of flavors such as honeydew melon, strawberries, and white chocolate tones. Then it is important to remember that you are simply drinking rice and water. Therein rests the most amazing aspect about sake: rice and water can taste like so many delicate and expressive flavors.
Welcome to the world of sake—we have been waiting for you!