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Sake Hot/Cold

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by _ABB_, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. _ABB_

    _ABB_ Member

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    Hello,

    All of my life I have been a Sushi eater and have always enjoyed a flute of sake on the side. That said, I always order hot sake and really don't know what makes one sake better than another.

    Do you take your sake warm? Cold? How can I differentiate good sake from bad?

    Cheers!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. nahneun

    nahneun Senior member

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    complexity of taste, tasting notes, etc. some styles are better hot, others cold. it's similar to tasting wine.

    also, only people who don't know sushi drink sake with sushi.

    nub.
     
  3. mm84321

    mm84321 Senior member

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    I've only had sake when warm. It counters nicely with a cold martini.
     
  4. _ABB_

    _ABB_ Member

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    What do you typically drink with Sushi?
     
  5. nahneun

    nahneun Senior member

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    beer and green/barley tea
     
  6. mm84321

    mm84321 Senior member

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    What do you typically drink with Sushi?
    Green tea or water. I believe the Japanese practice that you shouldn't eat rice with sake. Which I don't quite understand, as sake is made from fermented rice.
     
  7. _ABB_

    _ABB_ Member

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    Very interesting -- maybe too much rice for 1 sitting [​IMG].

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  8. ama

    ama Senior member

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    beer and green/barley tea

    [​IMG] barley tea.
     
  9. willy cheesesteak

    willy cheesesteak Senior member

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    I only drink Sake on a Suzuki while I'm in Osaka Bay.
     
  10. nahneun

    nahneun Senior member

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    Green tea or water. I believe the Japanese practice that you shouldn't eat rice with sake. Which I don't quite understand, as sake is made from fermented rice.
    it is because they are too similar in taste. contrary to popular belief, good nigirizushi is decided more by the rice than it is by the fish. good fish is sourced from the same location and it's far easier to slice a good piece of fish than it is to prepare the rice and form it properly at the right temperature
     
  11. arced

    arced Senior member

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    Do you take your sake warm? Cold? How can I differentiate good sake from bad?

    Cold or cool. Heating, in my opinion, kills the flavor. I'd rather think of it as more similar to a beer (limited shelf life and vastly better when cold). If you really want to taste the flavors, drink it room temperature. It's really a shame that almost all Americans think that sake (sah-kay) is a hot beverage -- it's probably because your average sushi place serves a mediocre sake that doesn't lose much when heated.
     
  12. nahneun

    nahneun Senior member

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    Cold or cool. Heating, in my opinion, kills the flavor. I'd rather think of it as more similar to a beer (limited shelf life and vastly better when cold). If you really want to taste the flavors, drink it room temperature. It's really a shame that almost all Americans think that sake (sah-kay) is a hot beverage -- it's probably because your average sushi place serves a mediocre sake that doesn't lose much when heated.
    wrong. some sake are better served warm because the flavor notes only open up after having been warmed enough. it's not sah-kay either. it's sah-keh
     
  13. arced

    arced Senior member

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    wrong. some sake are better served warm because the flavor notes only open up after having been warmed enough.

    it's not sah-kay either. it's sah-keh


    Sure, some are better, but the vast majority are better served cold. As for the pronunciation, I just trying to get people away from the American pronunciation (sah-kee/key), which, unfortunately, is now in the dictionary. [​IMG]
     
  14. nahneun

    nahneun Senior member

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    Sure, some are better, but the vast majority are better served cold. As for the pronunciation, I just trying to get people away from the American pronunciation (sah-kee/key), which, unfortunately, is now in the dictionary. [​IMG]
    sorry, also not true. warm sake has a depth that cold sake often lacks. it is completely dependent on the style and flavor profile. to say that the vast majority are better cold just shows that you really don't know sake.
     
  15. krawlx

    krawlx Member

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  16. arced

    arced Senior member

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    sorry, also not true. warm sake has a depth that cold sake often lacks. it is completely dependent on the style and flavor profile. to say that the vast majority are better cold just shows that you really don't know sake.

    I'm not going to get into an argument over taste, but I was glancing around the web to see whether I "really don't know sake". The "vast majority" of this site's top 100 seem to be recommended to be consumed on the colder side of spectrum. Also, while you may have access to some good stuff that is fine warm, in my experience (particularly in the US), the warm sake served in Japanese restaurants tend to be of a lower grade and an overall worse experience. If someone is interested in getting to know sake, I recommend that they start out buying good stuff in a specialty store and drinking it cold, as overheating it (which often happens in restaurants) tends to kill the taste and make sake into a one-note alcoholic beverage. YMMV.
     
  17. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    When I bought a bottle recently, which I haven't tried yet, the person at the liquor store told me that the one I got should be served cool (says so on the bottle even). She told me that the cheaper ones are served warm to mask some of the less desirable flavors, and that the nicer ones are best served slightly chilled, a la red wine.
     
  18. thinc

    thinc Member

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    The rule of thumb is that good sakes are served chilled while cheaper sakes are served warm. I'm sure there are exceptions but that's the general guideline.
     
  19. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    The rule of thumb is that good sakes are served chilled while cheaper sakes are served warm. I'm sure there are exceptions but that's the general guideline.

    yes, most good sake tastes better cold.

    Sake and Asian rice wines in general, huge can of worms. There are just so many ways sake is made - pasteurized, not pasteurized, what quality (what degree of milling/polishing) of rice, presence of distilled alcohol in the blend, filtered, unfiltered, and where the rice and the distillery come from, plus more. Niigata sake is well known.
    If you are just wanting to try better sakes, look at the price tag, judge how ornate the packaging is (really cheap stuff comes in a tetra pack carton, cheap stuff has printed labels; more expensive sake will have ornate boxes and washi labels, calligraphied print, hand numbered batches, ribbons, etc, etc - if it looks expensive, it's probably good), look at the label and see what style it is, Ginjo and Dai-ginjo mean it's made from highly milled/polished rice. Junmai means 'pure/100% rice (no added alcohol) and 'nama' means fresh/raw, concerning pasteurization. There are other things, like the order of the pressings (kind of the same way olive oil is categorized, except the virgin pressing of rice is not the best pressing) and then factors that go into alcohol in general, like the water source.
    Sake is cheap and not aged, so the price differentials are not going to be extreme as with whisky or wine.

    Gekkeikan is the brand you're gonna run into across America for basic sake, that stuff is distilled in California. Here is a better Gekkeikan I had not long ago, a junmai ginjo. Still nowhere near the best, but definitely a step up from the cheap Gekkeikan. It'd be like PBR vs a Samuel Adams or something. [​IMG] (note slightly more ornate label, and it came with a box and a fancy ribbon, etc)
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mblova

    Mblova Senior member

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    [​IMG] barley tea.

    Agreed.
     

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