Whether you identify as sake-curious or you’re a full-fledged sake connoisseur, there’s always something more to be learned about this national brewed drink and its distilled cousins, shochu and awamori. Find inspiration, new flavors, and maybe even new favorites through these sake and shochu resources.
Study Sake Online
The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) has many resources for the budding sake aficionado. Learn about sake’s rich history, its brewing process, or simply the basic characteristics of a good sake. Did you know there are sake types specific for certain seasonal events, or exact temperatures to enjoy atsu-kan (hot sake) and reishu (cold sake) and several temperature options in between? There is also a detailed guide on how to read a sake bottle label, as well as advice on how to pair sake with food to make the most of your meal. Learn all this and more on the JSS website.
The Sake On Air Podcast
For the budding sake savvy specialist, the bi-weekly podcast Sake on Air is a fantastic resource. The show is run by a team of shochu and sake experts based in Japan and includes interviews and in-depth explorations of what’s going on in the world of Japanese spirits. Topics range from Japan’s booming sake tourism, a shochu and awamori primer introduced by Chris Pellegrini, as well as interviews with bartenders from around the world who use sake in their cocktail concoctions.
For more info, check out the Sake on Air website.
Sip Sake on Site
Now that you’re armed with theoretical knowledge about Japan’s national beverages, head to Toranomon for a firsthand sake experience. Here you’ll find the Japan Sake and Shochu (JSS) Information Center, which boasts around one hundred types of shochu and sake from regions around Japan. Many of them are available for tasting at the center’s bar starting at the bargain price of ¥100 per cup. Sake and shochu tasting sets change according to the season, offering new experiences with each visit.
A concierge is always on site, ready to offer advice on sake events, brewery tours, as well as which shops sell hard-to-get sake and shochu brands. Together with other sake experts, the center also holds seminars on occasion, giving more insight into sake and shochu trends and production methods.
Visit the JSS Information Center website for more information.
Main image via Shutterstock