Sake

Sake is a anime/manga thing
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A alcoholic beverage from Japan.

Sake has a long and rich history in Japan. It has been used for centuries as a recreational drink and also for religious ceremonies.

Sake is made by the process of fermentation, in fact Sake has the highest percentage of alcohol, by volume, of any fermented drink.

In Japanese the word sake means "alcoholic drink" in the general sense. Sake use to have such a universal role in Japan that it wasn't just an alcohol, it was alcohol. Today the word sake can sometimes mean other alcoholic drinks. Stores advertising the fact that they sell beer, wine or any other liquor will display the kanji for sake (酒) outside, even if they don't sell Japanese sake. So today Japanese people often say nihonshu when referring to sake.

The base ingredients for sake are polished rice and malted rice. Polished rice is brown rice that has been milled, the smaller white grains that remain are used to make sake. The more that rice is polished the finer the flavor of sake is produced. For example daiginjo sake (an ultra high quality type of sake) has the rice used to make it polished to 50% of its original size. An easy way to think of it is the lower the number the better the sake. Malted rice, koji in Japanese, is a type of mold used to ferment the sake. These ingredients, along with water, are all one needs to make sake. However other ingredients can be and are used.

Sake is broken up into several distinct categories. The categories are made by determining the percentage the rice used to make it has been polished, if any extra alcohol has been added and if any sugars or acids were added. The categories are listed as such.

Junmaishu: Pure rice sake. To be a junmaishu a sake must have its rice polished to at least 70% of its original size, or in other words 30% of the rice body must be removed. In addition it must only be produced using rice and rice koji, no other added ingredients. A subcategory called tokubetsu junmaishu (special junmaishu) is also made. A brewer can use the tokubetsu title if the rice used to make it is polished to 60% or less and the brewer uses a "special" method, however special isn't really defined so it up to the producer to make in their own fashion.

Honjozo: Sake with a limited amount of alcohol added. Again the rice used to make this blend of sake must be polished to at least 70%. But it differs from junmaishu by allowing the addition of some alcohol to be added before pressing (the final step in preparing sake.) The amount of added alcohol amounts to about one forth of the alcohol present in the sake. The addition of alcohol slightly dilutes the sake and makes for a lighter taste. Again there is a subcategory, this time called tokubetsu honjozo. It also requires the rice used to make it to be polished to at lest 60% and a special process should be used to make it.

Ginjoshu: Special brew sake. Ginjoshu has the strictest requirements of any kind of sake. To be called a ginjoshu the rice used to make it must be polished at least 60%. If the rice is polished to 50% or further it qualifies to be called daiginjo, or great ginjo. Also to have ginjo status brewers must follow a special technique called ginjo-zukuri. Thus ginjo sake is rather labor-intensive to make. Because its high demands a sake with the ginjoshu label is considered to be of the highest caliber. Interestingly a ginjoshu can be made like a junmaishu with only rice and rice koji or it can include added alcohol like a honjozo.

Lower categories of sake include futsushu, which has no minimum for the amount of rice polishing needed and allows for the addition of acids. Also more alcohol may be added than is the case with hojozo. Sanzoshu will add even more alcohol than futsushu and will also add sugar, which is not allowed in futsushu.

Some other types are the white colored nigori zake, which is flittered in a different manner allowing some rice solids to pass through resulting in a milk like color for the sake. Also there is the fresh or "raw" nama zake. It is unpasteurized and thus must be kept refrigerated and drunk rather quickly.

Recently sake has seen its popularity decline in Japan. Other alcoholic beverages, such as beer, whiskey and shochu (a distilled Japanese liquor) have grown over the past decades. This has lead sake brewer to look outside Japan to foreign markets to make a profit. Today sake can be found in America, Europe and most any other place were people drink.

General Information Edit
Thing Name Sake
Japanese Name:
Romaji Name: sake
Aliases osake
nihonshu
rice wine
1st manga book:
1st anime episode:
1st anime movie:
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