Savour the Saké

Saké, also known in Japan as Nihonshu, is a type of alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. There are 4 ingredients used to brew sak – clean water, quality rice, yeast, and mold. Saké has different flavour profiles, from light and crisp to richer, fruity flavours and more. It can be drank either cold or at room temperature and taste much better depending on the situation and the food you pair it with. When drinking in groups, it is customary to serve one another. If one were to serve you, you should hold up your class towards the person and then take one sip before placing the glass down.

Type of Saké

Fun fact – saké in Japan refers to any beverage that is alcoholic. The saké that we commonly refer to is called Nihonshu. So, there you go, hopefully that clears us from embarrassing ourselves! To delve into the full spectrum of saké would probably require some actual saké beside you as a side drink. Nonetheless, here is a handy list of the main types and classifications of sake for your common knowledge.

Junmai refers to pure rice sake (non-additive). For Junmai, it means that the rice used has been polished to at least 70% and, in a nutshell, junmai sake tends to have a rich full body with an intense, slightly acidic flavor. This type of sake can be particularly nice when served warm or at room temperature.

Then there is Honjozo, which similarly with Junmai, uses rice that are at least 70% polished but also contains a small amount of distilled brewers alcohol to smoothen the flavour and aroma of the saké. Honjozo sakes are often light and easy to drink and can be enjoyed both warm and chilled.

Ginjo is a type of premium saké that uses rice that has been polished to at least 60% and is brewed using special yeast and fermentation techniques. Ginjo offers a lighter, fruitier, and complex flavour that is quite fragrant. It is easy to drink and usually served chilled.

Taking it one notch higher, we have Daiginjo, which is a super-premium saké (”dai” can be referred to as “big”… insert shameless plug to visit B.I.G. outlets to get your saké binge). It requires precision to its methods and uses rice that has been polished to at least 50%. Daiginjo sakes are often relatively pricey and are usually served chilled.

So that’s that. A little bit of knowledge for you to enjoy your sakés better the next time you pick up a bottle, which we hope would be soon as B.I.G. is having our Japan Fair from 16th July to 9th August 2020! Drop by any B.I.G. outlet to check out some great Japanese products and and of course, sakés, that are on promotion. Click here for more info, Japan Fair.

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