Monday, 22 February 2010

Hot sake and Cold sake

Sake can be serve variety of temperatures compare to wine.
In Japan, sake is served cold, hot and warm depending on the preference of the drinker. Some people thinks bad sake is serve hot and good sake is serve cold… “I think” many restaurants used to serve in this way and some are still serving. Because as heating masks low quality and rough characters.

Regularly hot sake is consumed more in winter, and cold sake is consumed more in summer season. It does make sense doesn’t it? The four seasons are very important in Japan. We are always appreciating four seasons harvest, freshly picked seasonal foods.
In winter new batch of sake release to market that called “shin shu” means freshly brewed sake. “Hanami zake”, means flower viewing sake under the cherry blossom trees. Hiyaoroshi in autumn’s signature sake…

The history of hot sake goes way back for 100 years ago.
When you increase the temperature, it will effect to the alcohol and acid in sake. So, some of sake becomes really dry and sharp taste. Most of the western peoples who loves hot sake they may likes these characteristics. And some of them loves sake that even piping hot.
I do stop them to have piping hot sake. But not every time. I'm not happy to see sake has been wasted. When it’s too hot you couldn’t taste anything and same as too cold… I think people likes sake that ice chilled or piping hot, they have different priority, like not tasting sake, enjoying feeling of the liquid go down to throat.

If you are serving hot sake by your self, you don’t need to be in panic.
You need a following items

sauce pan

sake carafe

Sake that you wan to warm up.

Fill up water in sauce pan and bring it to boil.
Then pour sake into sake carafe, after that place the sake carafe in a hot water.
Please try not to boil sake.

I like to have sake "Hito hada kan" or "Nuru kan" temperature, because flavours are opens up and sake turn to such a gentle, smooth and silky character.
If you are not sure what sake you can heat, what should have cold temperature.... I think better to ask someone who knows about sake, REALLY.

I'd say "generally" something that has body, good amount of acidity and depth in texture of sake, you can warm them up. If there is delicate character, herbs and fruits, crisp or elegant.... these characteristic would be better to have cold. Otherwise the balance and flavour will be totally destroyed by warmth.

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