Sake, also called Japanese rice wine, is a unique alcoholic beverage that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. But if you’re new to drinking it, you’re probably wondering what the best drinks are to mix with sake!
In short, sake can be mixed with a range of different drinks. Some of these include lemon tea, tomato juice, ginger ale, soda water, fruit juice, coke, and even yogurt.
So if you plan on mixing sake, you’re definitely not short of options.
Made from fermented rice, sake has a subtle yet complex flavor that can work well when paired with certain mixers. It may be a Japanese tradition, but it’s gained popularity all around the world and is now an alcoholic beverage used to create different cocktails!
For more ways to mix sake, as well as what sake tastes like, the alcohol percentage of sake, the right way to drink sake, and more, you’ll find more useful information about drinking sake below.
What Is Sake?
Put simply, sake is a brewed alcohol made from fermented rice. Some people also call it Japanese rice wine and, in Japan, it’s known as Nihonshu. Sake has been drunk in Japan for hundreds of years, rooted in tradition, ceremony, and rituals.
Sake has a similar brewing process to beer, except that rice, water, yeast, and koji are used to create it – instead of malted barley and hops. Most sake is drunk young, but sometimes sake is aged to become a Japanese beverage called koshu.
Sake can vary in flavor and smell depending on the type of rice used and the brewing process. Some types of sake can be dry and bitter, while other types of sake can have a sweeter taste.
Sake can be served chilled, at room temperature, or warmed, depending on who’s drinking it! It can also be mixed with various drinks, making it a versatile alcoholic beverage.
What Does Sake Taste Like?
Sake can be bitter or sweet, depending on the brewing process! Many sake drinkers describe the taste of sake as similar to white wine – dry while being both slightly bitter and slightly sweet.
Overall, the taste of sake is subtle, but with a mixture of earthy and fruity elements. It’s crisp, smooth, refreshing, and sometimes complex, which makes it great to savor both on its own and mixed with other drinks.
What’s the best way to know how sake tastes? To buy a bottle and try it for yourself!
Is Sake A Strong Alcohol?
Sake typically has an alcohol content of around 15%. This can be as low as 13%, however, and as high as 17%. So this means sake is typically stronger than wine!
For that reason, it can be easy to get drunk on sake. This is especially true if the sake is mixed with other beverages, which can mask the strength of the alcohol content in sake.
Another reason it can be easy to get drunk on sake is because it’s generally considered to have a smoother taste than other types of alcohol.
Despite that, sake is traditionally consumed in small sips. This is the reason Japanese people serve sake in small cups, which are not to be mistaken for shot glasses!
What To Mix With Sake
Sake can be enjoyed on its own (the traditional way), with mixers, and even with food! Some people find sake too strong to drink on its own or just want to enhance the flavor, so, if you relate, some of the best drinks to mix with sake include:
- Lemon tea
- Green tea
- Fruit juice
- Ginger ale
- Soda water
- Tonic water
Overall, there are many ways you can mix sake. It’s super versatile as an alcoholic beverage thanks to its subtle but complex taste, so simply experiment to find out your preferred way of drinking sake.
What Is A Sake Bomb?
You may have heard of “sake bombs”. And if so, it’s another way of mixing sake that involves dropping a shot of sake into a glass of beer. It’s then consumed straightaway, similar to how you would drink a shot.
It’s not known where sake bombs originated exactly, but it’s generally not a popular way to drink sake (anymore) in Japan. Some Japanese people find the way sake bombs are consumed disrespectful due to how sake is rooted in Japanese history, ritual ceremonies, and culture.
How To Drink Sake The Right Way
Japanese people have a rich tradition of drinking sake. Some Japanese people consider it a sacred or ceremonial drink, which also comes with a belief for how sake should be consumed.
In general, however, sake is traditionally served warm in small porcelain cups. The cups should be held with both hands, then slowly sipped to savor the flavors. It’s also traditional for sake to be drunk with others, and for the sake not to be self-served.
Still, there is no “wrong” way to drink sake. It has its own historical traditions and cultural significance, but has also grown in popularity around the world as an alcoholic beverage that can be enjoyed in different ways.
All in all, mix and drink sake however you prefer!
In conclusion, while sake is traditionally and culturally enjoyed on its own or with Japanese appetizers, there are many different mixers that it can be combined with to create interesting and unique cocktails.
Just some of the mixers you can pair with sake include lemon tea, soda, tonic water, green tea, fruit juice, tomato juice, ginger ale, vermouth, and even yogurt. It’s that versatile!
But if you want to drink sake the traditional way, serve it warm in shot glasses, sip the sake slowly and try to savor the flavors. You can also pair it with different Japanese appetizers, such as sushi.
Sake has a unique bitter yet sweet taste that can vary greatly depending on how it’s brewed, and this is what makes drinking sake on its own an interesting and enjoyable experience.