Sweet sake: what does sake taste like?
What is sweet sake or what does sake taste like are the two common questions a lot of people are curious about when it comes to sake.
The answer to the first question is a definite yes. There are 2 major kinds of sake, sweet sake, and dry sake.
In Japan, when you hear the word “sake” people are mostly talking about alcohol. This sounds interesting, right?
You can actually use this as a coded language among your friends.
Instead of saying let’s go get some drinks, you can say guys I’m in need of sweet sake. The people around you will have absolutely no idea about what you are talking about.
We have made the discovery that sake is made from fermented rice. However, the picture doesn’t seem clear enough.
- How exactly can you produce a drink from rice?
- Is rice the only ingredient
- If yes, how then is sweet sake made
- What does sake taste like?
- Should or try it out?
This article does not just talk about sweet sake, it is also a beginner’s guide for people who have no knowledge about it.
This should give you a broader knowledge about sake, its production, and the differences between sweet sake and dry sake.
If you are curious about any questions listed above. Keep reading, as the answers to all your questions are the major subject of discussion.
The next question is,
What is sake
Sake is actually a drink gotten from rice! It originates from Japan; rice is used to produce this Japanese alcohol.
Over 2000 years ago Japan Introduced this rice drink (Nihonshu). Contrary to most opinions, it is actually a healthy drink made from the fermentation of rice.
I’m sure so many people had no idea that there is a drink produced from rice.
It might be a healthy drink; however, it also contains alcohol. The total percentage of alcohol in sake is approximately 13-16%.
Is sake just an alcohol
To answer the question, sake is not just another alcoholic drink, it is also a healthy wine alternative.
Sake and its production
Sake is a slightly sweet drink with a combination of other flavors. According to different research, sake is an appropriate drink for almost all kinds of food, however, it is best enjoyed with Japanese cuisine.
Japanese cuisines are delightful and tasty for example sushi.
If you love trying out new things including food and drinks. This is a perfect time to treat yourself to Japanese cuisine.
Rice is not the only ingredient used in preparing sake. There are 3 other key ingredients that play a vital role in the taste and aroma of sake.
- Koji mold
- Clean water
Proper mixing and fermenting of these ingredients lead to the formation of sake.
During the fermentation process, starch, sugar, and alcohol are released.
Fermentation is actually a gradual process.
During the process, starch is produced then converted into sugar which is further converted into alcohol.
Variation exists in the percentage of alcohol in the different brands of sake.
The alcohol content in sake ranges from 13-20%.
Koji mold in sake
If you want sweet sake filled with amazing flavor, don’t forget to add koji to the mix. Koji is known for the aroma it brings to its sake.
The aroma doesn’t last but it adds additional flavor and taste to sake. Sake without Koji is not the same.
You definitely need to use clean water to make your sake.
The features of clean water are odorless, tasteless, and colorless.
If the water you want to use defaults in any quality listed above, I strongly advise that you should not use it.
How to make sake
Now you know the ingredients that can be used to make sake.
It is equally important that you learn about how to make sake.
The steps include;
- Use short-grain rice to make sake. Ensure that you polish the rice until it becomes whitish.
- Then add clean water, koji mold, and yeast to the polished rice. The mixture is allowed to ferment. The resultant by-product of fermentation includes starch, sugar, and finally alcohol.
What does sake taste like?
Sake is a combination of astringent and sweet flavors. It is a smooth and light drink that you should give a try.
There are some different brands of sake, majorly sweet sake, and dry sake.
This difference in the brands of sake makes it quite difficult to describe the taste of sake.
Therefore, the taste of sake highly depends on the brand.
Sake has a sweet and clean taste; it also has an astringent flavor and fruity aroma.
Most sake enthusiasts speak highly about the amazing fragrance of sake.
The nice fragrance of sake doesn’t last for long, it fades away when the drink is poured out from the bottle.
A lot of people compare sake with wine (white wine) due to the similarities they possess.
However, sake is sweeter and has a more appealing fragrance than wines or other beverages.
Difference between sake and other wine
Sake and wine have so many similarities. Most times people even classify it as wine.
However, there are so many major and minor details that separate sake from wine.
Sake tends to have a higher percentage of alcohol than wine. The percentage of sake ranges from 13-20% however most wine shuffles between 10-15%.
One major benefit of sake according to food experts is its ability to blend with a wide range of food.
You can pair sake with almost all kinds of food including pizza and pasta.
This is quite different as not all wines can blend with a particular food. This blending ability of sake is due to the high quantity of amino acids it contains.
Sake is made up of water not tannins this makes it less acidic than wine. It is a combination of sweet, smooth, and astringent flavors.
Differences between sake and soju
Sometimes people interchangeably replace sake for soju however, they are completely different.
Sake is a Japanese beverage while soju is a South Korean beverage.
Soju is made with completely different ingredients. The main ingredient forsake is rice however, the main ingredients for soju are sweet potatoes and barley.
Soju also contains more alcohol and a stronger aroma than sake.
The alcohol content of soju ranges from over 15-50%.
There are two different kinds of sake, sweet sake, and dry sake.
Sweet sake also known as amazake is a drink made from rice however, it is quite different from Nihonshu.
The question is, how can you know which is sweet sake or dry?
Sweet sake has a hint of sweetness in it. This hint of sweetness is referred to as an off-dry.
Sweet sake also has different variations as the aroma and alcohol content can affect the taste.
Shelf life of sake
Sake lasts for approximately 1-2 years if it is kept in the fridge. An unopened bottle of sake can last longer than 8 years.
Brands of sake
There are so many different brands of sake in the world Including sweet and dry sake.
- Kirin Zan Junmai
- Tentaka Shuz
Sweet sake (Amazake) is different from normal sake (Nihonshu).
When you want to purchase a bottle of sake, it is important that you ask questions for clarification before making the purchase.
Sake sounds like a good addition to your drink list! Are you willing to try out the aroma-filled and flavourful sake?
If you decide to try out sake for the first time, we will love to hear about your experience. Kindly share it with us in the comment section.
If you have further questions about sake, drop them in the comment section.