What Does Sake Taste Like? Find out now

Wondering what sake tastes like? Look no further; our research team has got you covered with all the amazing and juicy information about the sake. It’s a Japanese alcoholic beverage that is made up of rice. The word sake means to offer and serve. In Japan, sake is often served as a traditional drink during wedding and celebration meals.

Now sake is famous all around the world due to its taste. It is sold in more than 100+ countries, and millions of people enjoy it daily.

The most famous and common sake type comes from Kyoto in Japan. Therefore, it is known as Kyo-sake. It is prepared using the traditional methods; rice is ground into flour and then mixed in water to get the unpasteurized drink.

It is served in hot and cold both forms. Some people confuse it with beer which is another fermented grain drink. But what does sake taste like? Let’s dig into it.

What is sake?

Sake is an alcoholic Japanese beverage made using fermented rice grains. It first originated from the Japanese monasteries and temples. Unlike other alcoholic drinks, sake can be served either hot or cold.

For centuries sake has been prepared using the polished mai rice, yeast, and mold called Aspergillus orzae. Fine sakes are stored for at least one year; by volume, sake is more potent than most wine. Most wines have about 20% alcohol. However, the undiluted sake known as Genshu has more than 20% ABV.

It’s a simple thumb rule that the high-quality sake tastes better in chilled form, whereas the cheaper one should be served warm.

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What’s the taste of sake?

Sake has a nutty aroma that is a little fruity as well. It has a mild yet clean taste that is tastier than other wines. It is a well-balanced drink that combines astringent and savory flavors. The taste of sake also depends on the alcohol tolerance of the drinker.

Types of sake

There are five main types of sake: Namazke, Ginjo-shu, Junmai-shu, Daiginjo-shu, and Honjozo-shu. Each sake is brewed differently; some use alcohol in its preparation while some don’t.

  • Junmai-shu is a sake-type solid in the purest form without any brewer’s alcohol. It is rich in flavors and increases the acidity risk. It is generally served hot.
  • Namazake is a drink in which alcohol isn’t pasteurized. To secure the taste and aroma of this drink, it needs to be refrigerated. The unfiltered form of Namazake is known as Nigori Zake, which is sweet, cloudy, and has koji ice in its bottle.
  • Ginjo-shu is made up of 40% of milled rice and 60% of the original one. It is light and flavorful, and the aroma is also pleasant. This sake has a pleasant aroma and light and delicate flavors into it.
  • Daiginjo-shu sake is the ginjo-shu type with a 30-35% of milled rice percentage. It has a pleasant aftertaste and a fragrant aroma.
  • Honjozo-shu has a milling degree of 70% means about 30% of rice is milled, and the remaining 70% keeps its original shape. Brewer alcohol makes it not as potent as the one without alcohol. It has a light and smooth flavors and tastes best when served warm.

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How to drink sake?

There are different traditional methods for the sake of representation. While drinking sake in a professional way, you use a sake set. A traditional sake set includes a porcelain flask, known as tokkuri, with small cups called Choko or sakazuki.

You can also serve cold sake in traditional wine glasses. In important Japanese events like holidays, weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries sake is placed in a masu. Masu is a standard cedar wood box that presents the traditionally brewed sake, as in old times, it was brewed in wood casks.

The taste and scent of sake change with temperature. You can enjoy it at hot, warm, or even chilled temperatures. There are two general ways to drink it.

  •   Hiya: It’s a cold style in which you refrigerate your sake.
  •   Atuskan: It’s a warm style sake in which the sake is present in a tokkuri in warm water.

Some sake is better when sold, while some taste better when warm. Some sakes taste better both warm and cold.

What alcohol has a similar taste to sake?

Sake is familiar with white wine as both are smooth yet dry beverages. Generally, cold sake has the taste of white wine, while some of them are more flavorful. The hot sake, generally preferred in winter, tastes familiar to vodka. It’s because of the alcohol that goes straight to your head.

Some people find sake has a familiar aftertaste and aroma to sherry. Despite all these similarities, sake has a bit sweeter taste than wine. 100 grams of sake contains around 103 calories, while 100 grams of wine has 83 calories.

Is sake similar to vodka?

Vodka and sake are both alcoholic beverages though vodka is stronger than sake. However, sake has a fruity and sweet aroma, while vodka is strong alcohol. Sake is a Japanese fermented rice beverage and isn’t clear like vodka. In comparison to whiskeys and vodkas, they are just half as strong as them.

In addition to drinking, vodka is taken with shots, whereas sake is sipped from a small cup.

Drier sake vs. sweeter sake

Sake bottles generally have Sake Meter Value (SMV) on them. It indicates the beverage density. A greater score means the drink has a lower density and a dry texture. In contrast, the lower score indicates a high density with a sweeter taste.


Due to the opening of Japanese restaurants worldwide, sake is becoming very popular. So, what does sake taste like? People who tried it admire its taste for its nutty, sweet, and wine-like flavor, but as there are several different sakes and types, taste varies even with a little variation.

Besides, the taste of sake also depends upon your way of drinking. Either you are drinking it cold or hot. Before ordering a sake bottle, consider all of these factors to enjoy.


What does sake taste like?

Sake has a healthy balance of savory and astringent flavor with a clean and slightly sweet taste. Its fruity, sweet, and nutty aroma is less definite than wine.

Is sake an acquired taste?

Most people describe sake as an acquired taste, not as one that only goes with Japanese food. Usually, people first drink sake in a Japanese restaurant and do not know the quality or brand they are drinking.

Why sake doesn’t it give a hangover?

Sake isn’t on the list of hangover-inducing beverages as it is simply fermented water and rice. Besides, sake has very low sulfites, histamines, and about 1/3 acidity. All of these are the results of hangovers due to wines.










Rabia Sehar
Rabia Sehar

Hi! I’m Rabia Sehar, a motivated, passionate and sophisticated writer aspiring to make my dreams come true. Writing about health, wellness, mental health, and lifestyle is something I specialize in and am passionate about. I love traveling, reading, composing, and entertaining. As a health advocate, I am passionate about creating content that educates people on leading a healthy life. Health is the actual wealth so try your best to keep it.