Ultimate Sake Tasting – How to Drink Sake, Hot or Cold?

sake

Do You Like Sake to be Hot or Cold?

Sake is good to drink both with cold and hot. When you drink sake hot, it is called ‘atsukan’.
Drinking temperature also ranges from 5 ° C to 60 ° C over a wide range compared to other alcoholic beverages. Each category of temperature has a name. Regarding hot sake, there are six stages.sake atsukan

Between 30℃ and 40℃, you taste bitterness less and taste more sweetness.
Between 45℃ and 55℃, sake taste more sharp and dry.

How to Make Atsukan?

Here are three ways to make hot sake (atsukan).
1. Put the tokkuri (sake bottle) into the pot with the boiled water. Stop the fire at this moment. Heat it up there for around 2-3 minutes. This is the best way to heat up sake.
2. Heat up sake in the boiling water.
3. Heat up sake up in the microwave. You may better stir it before drinking.

Good Effect of Drinking Hot Sake

Alcohol has a function of cooling the body. It may be good in summer, but when you drink cold alcohol in winter, your body gets cooled down. By deinking hot sake, you can get the effect of preventing alcohol temperature drop.

“Alcohol is not absorbed into the body unless it gets to a temperature close to the body temperature. When you drink cold sake, absorption begins after it is sufficiently warmed in the stomach. So when you drink cold sake, there is a time lag until you feel tipsy.

In Japan we have a saying that 『親の小言と冷酒は後から効く』 meaning you only realize afterward that what your parents tell you was right and cold sake is actually making you drunk.

On the other hand, alcohol absorption begins sooner when drinking hot sake. So you would feel drunk sooner than when drinking cold sake. This means less chance to get hangover..! If you like to drink a lot or wants to get drunk soon, hot sake can be a good way for that.

Which Sake is Good to Drink with Hot?

① Dry sake
② Rich sake
Example: Junmai, Honjozo and Futsu-shu.

We tried four different hot sake this time.

① Konteki (Junmai 60%)
Compared to cold sake, its flavor spread into the mouth immediately after drinking and the scent became stronger. We liked cold one to hot one for this sake.

② Rakuden (Junmai 65%)
Compared to cold sake, the flavor spread swiftly, it got easier to drink itself. And the scent became a little stronger. We liked hot one much better for this sake.

③ Iwai (Junmai 80%)
This unique character came from iwai rice still existed thought it was heated up. Iwai is better with cold as its freshness is not killed.

④ Satoru (Food rice Jumai 60%)
Compared to cold sake, sourness from special process and the uniqueness from food rice were reduced and got easier to drink.

⑤ Tomio (Junmai Daiginjo 50%)
Being heated up, its great fruity aroma has gone. There might be nothing good to heat it up.

What We Found about Hot Sake

We found sake with less polished rice is better to drink hot. As Yamadanishiki, the king of sake rice is good for highly polished rice, you may not appreciate hot one with it as much as cold one. Also, sake using Iwai rice has refreshing taste. It’s probably better to stick with drinking cold.

Food Pairing with Hot Sake

① Hot meals ② Richly flavored dishes are well matched with hot sake.
Example: oden, sushi and boiled tofu

Lastly, we would like to introduce you how to make our favorite recipe of “Boiled Tofu” (yudofu)

Ingredients
· soup stock (dashi)
· tofu
· chopped green onion
· soy sauce
· seasoning (shichimi)

tofu

① Make soup stock just by putting soup stock in hot water.
② Put tofu into boiling soup and warm it firmly.
③ Add chopped green onion, soy sauce and seasoning as much as you like and it is done!!

Kyoto is famous for delicate food such as tofu and vegetable pickles. You must come here to try them with sake!!

Join Our Tour!

When visiting Kyoto, you can’t miss a sake tour of Fushimi – so why not join us on a hunt for the area’s best sake, and best combination with food pairing session and find your favourite along the way?

BOOK NOW

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Our Sake Tour Reviews

  •   My cousin and I went to this 'sake experience' and what an experience! Kotaro is very welcoming and sweet. He simply created a nice and relaxed atmosphere. The 'Kyoto insider sake experince' is both educational and very interesting. Also, it was interesting to learn more...More

    thumb sidsenoerregaard
    8/18/2019
  •   Kotaro spoke excellent english. History of area was very interesting. Sake factory tour was informative and detailed. Got to try many different types of sake back at the HQ with excellent food and an informative review and taste description of each sake. Everything I could...More

    thumb bjpw98
    8/15/2019
  •   Kotaro explaind a lot of things and it was really interesting. It was great to test diffrent type of sake and to know what the diffrences were abbout them. With a little bit of excersie you can read the sake bottles without any help. We...More

    thumb Kira95714
    8/12/2019
  •   Had a great time with this tour, it was easy to find, just down the street from the train station we used to get there. From there it was a small walk to the brewery we visited and was an overall great experience and learned...More

    thumb Mark E
    8/07/2019
  •   great experience with Kotaro. came here with friends. he knows his stuff and is extremely passionate and professional. the food pairing with sake was A+++. thanks!

    thumb Paradise397570
    8/01/2019
  •   We were not well versed on Sake. Trying it here and there. Well now I feel like an expert. The process explanation as well as finding your preferred taste with and without food. Thanks Kotaro was lovely to meet you. The small group was also...More

    thumb Nscook13
    7/27/2019
  •   Had a blast learning about Sake with Rieko and Kotaro. Great value for money as we tasted 10 different kinds of Sake. Each sake was unique, and when paired with food was a whole different experience. One pair even tasted like Tiramisu! Great in any...More

    thumb jingumai
    7/27/2019
  •   A fantastic introduction to the world of sake - the brewery gave us an appreciation of the work and traditions that go into the making of sake. Amazing to find out how long they have been making it and why Kyoto is such an excellent...More

    thumb Clare R
    7/22/2019
  •   We really enjoyed the tour of the brewery in combination with the sake tasting. Not only was the teacher well versed in the material, but he was able to convey the information in a way that we could understand and remember. We used our new...More

    thumb bootop
    7/22/2019
  •   Great way to spend an afternoon in Japan! The class teaches how to interpret, appreciate, and pair different kinds of Sake. An included Sake brewery tour was also a fun way to learn more about the history of the beverage before trying it. Kotaro was...More

    thumb Chillpenguin
    7/21/2019

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