Sake 101

Sake casks

Sake is getting more and more popular throughout the UK, with customers gaining a growing understanding of the diversity of this exciting category. But do you know what it's made from or how to serve it? Here's our quick back-to-basics Sake guide.

Ingredients are all important

Sake is about purity and consistency. Everything from the rice to the yeast is graded by a regulatory body and shared with the consumer on the label

Polishing ratio

This is the essential factor in defining the quality and style of sake. Rice must be milled to remove the outer husk and the remaining starchy centre or 'Shinpaku' is fermented. The higher the degree of polishing, the purer and more elegant the sake.


The name of a very important mould that stimulates the conversion of starch into sugar. It is mixed with the polished rice to begin fermentation


Most sake is clear and colourless. It is filtered through active charcoal to remove any impurities, although aged sake will take on a yellow or amber colour over time.

Serving temperature

The traditional method of serving sake is warm or 'Kan' but delicate styles like Junmai Ginjo should be served chilled to appreciate the subtle fruit aroma.


12th May 2014

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Drink Aware - know the facts