How To Serve Sake
Before arming you with the knowledge on how to serve sake, let me introduce you to sake as a drink. Sake is an age-old, in fact ancient Japanese drink, which is made out of rice. So it is also broadly known as rice wine in the west. It has 2000 years old tradition, and is highly acclaimed savory drink in whole of Japan. Conventionally it is served before a gourmet meal or dish; it is never tagged with any rice dish. Knowing aesthetic way of presenting, and serving sake is essential to enliven the spirit of drinking sake. Let me present you some traditional ways of serving sake, and winning the hearts of your most esteemed guests.
- Sake should be well preserved, either chilled or warmed before serving it at room temperature. Sake has different variations, to name few of them, ginjo-shu, honzojo-shu, namazake, and unpasteurized versions also in the row. Those which have not been pasteurized or preboiled, need to be taken on fire, and should be heated well. But serving has always to be done at room temperature, so that you can rave about the great taste of sake endlessly.
- Right cup and pitchers are next big step toward serving sake. Specially named sake cups are available to make your choices. Here are some of them for a quick sneak peak.
- Chook Cups – you can use these round, bamboo or ceramic wares to pour and serve sake. The limitation is that only hot or warmed sake can go in these specially designed cups.
- Cocktail Glass- white wine glass, champagne glass or a cocktail glass can be used keeping modern trend in view, for chilled sake. These types of wares give more space to aerate the sake and enhance their flavor.
- Wood Pitchers - sake is served traditionally in wooden box like glass, which is good for chilled ones. They are called as “ masu”.
- Serving premium sakes is essential to know, before uncorking it. You should keep in cooled cellars, and should never be heated before serving.
- Serving sake requires some mutual gestures to be followed. The person serving sake must hold both hands around the ware while pouring the sake into cups. The recipient must also use both the hands while receiving the traditional drink. As a thanksgiving gesture, both should utter “Kanpai” which means thank you, as sign of hospitality.
- Sake is the versatile drink, as it can be coupled with cinnamon, ginger, and other Asian spices to make its aroma come alive. Also, it allows flexibility to be used as cocktails.
These are some of the tips on how to serve sake, and enjoy the taste of tradition!
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