OCHOCO // OCHOKO
The unexperienced may think “oh sake shot glasses!” While we love sake, we caution from slamming these tiny cups designed so that there isn’t much time for chilled sake to get warm and vice versa. Remember, in Japan it’s customary for drinkers to fill and refill each other’s cups. So, these small iconic sake cups mean more filling and more social interaction.
Just a slightly larger version of the ochoko. Meant for heavier drinking, this is only slightly larger and with a wider rim.
With a wide mouth the sakazuki is the oldest sake cup style and remains a favorite for ceremonies. The cup is usually lifted and taken to the mouth with two hands, one at the bottom, and one on the side, in a dramatic yet symbolic ceremonial consumption of sake. What it lacks in quantity vessel [usually only contains a few sips] it makes up in decoration and artistry. Sakuzakis are typically made from porcelain, but can be found in gold, silver, glass, earthenware, and lacquer.
Perhaps not the sake vessel that first comes to mind, wine glasses should be discounted as an excellent opportunity to deliver the personality of each brew. Served chilled and in a white wine glass, sake is given the opportunity to present it’s aromatic distinctions. Swirl it, smell it, and sip it.
Originally the square boxes were used to measure rice in feudal Japan. Typically made of hinoki or cedar wood, which have natural antibacterial properties to keep food and drink fresh, masu are traditionally used to drink sake during special occasions. In most celebrations involving sake, a glass is placed inside the masu cup, over which the host will pour sake until it overflows into the masu like a waterfall. The overflowing is an act of kindness and generosity by the host to show their appreciation for your friendship.
GLASS [“JAM JAR”]
At Sake Social we encourage enjoying sake in the best and easiest way. While there is so much to learn and appreciate from the history and customs of the various cups mentioned, none are a necessity to savoring sake. Personally I enjoy all the nigoris, junmais, and daiginjos in a jam jar whether prepping dinner, pairing with a variety of cuisine, or sharing with friends. No rules on this road to sake.