Sake is a unique drink that can be served at a range of temperatures, but with the evening chill beginning to settle in, it’s the perfect time to try some warmed Japanese sake.
“When sake is warmed, it intensifies the taste and acidity, so it’s essential to choose the right one before you begin,” says Yukino. “Premium sake like Daiginjo and Ginjo should be served chilled like white wine so you can enjoy the crisp, floral and fruity aroma, while earthy, umami-rich sake – such as Junmai, Kimoto or Yamahai – is lovely served warm.”
Yukino was taught by her grandmother the process of warming sake in a 70-80° Celsius water bath. “Fill the tokkuri (sake-serving carafe) with sake to about 70-80% capacity and leave it in the bath for five minutes or so, until the sake reaches the desired temperature. This way, the sake is warmed gently, which protects the aroma and flavour.”
Ideally, it should be served at 40-45° Celsius. Alcohol starts evaporating above 50 degrees, so be mindful of it being too hot! While Yukino’s grandmother always insisted that a warm bath was the best way to warm sake, you can, of course, use the microwave. Pour 180ml sake in a tokkuri (or a suitable microwavable container) and heat for 40-60 seconds, depending on your microwave.
Kenbishi Kuromatsu is a new sake product sold in a 180ml glass bottle and has been designed for microwave heating. The bottle’s unique shape ensures the sake is evenly warmed in only 50 seconds. It is washable, reusable and recyclable, just be sure you remove the top cap before heating. Kenbishi Kuromatsu is available to buy at Qantas Wine, Le Pont Wine Store, Prince Wine Store and The Cru Bar & Cellar.