Sake Institute of Ontario

10 Ways To Enhance Your Sake Experience


Think you have seen every side of sake? Try these on for size and amp up your sake experience!

1. New Vessels

Ochoko: This ubiquitous little ceramic cup is perfect for your gently warmed sake!

Kikichoko: The concentric blue circles of this porcelain sake tasting cup are designed to aid in determining clarity and brilliance. They will have you tasting sake like a pro!

Wine Glasses: Wine glasses are perfect for enhancing the myriad of aromas that sake can have, especially the interesting fruity aromas of ginjo and daiginjo sake.

For the connoisseur: The Shotoku ‘Usuhari’ Daiginjo Glass. It is made out the ultra thin glass of a former lightbulb company. This is the perfect way of enhancing the aromas and flavour of your favourite premium sake.

2. New Ingredients

Mix it up! Sake inspired cocktails are a great way of utilizing sake’s ability to blend seamlessly while enhancing the flavours.

3. New Temperatures

Sake can be enjoyed at many different serving temperatures where it can change drastically, enhancing different qualities in your favourite brew.

Warm: Few things can light the fire faster than a gently warmed yamahai or kimoto poured into your favourite ochoko. Be sure to gently warm the sake. An ideal way to do this is by submerging a flask of sake in hot water, gradually warming it up.

Chilled: Sake is delicious chilled, but not too cold, where the aromas and flavours may become shy.

On the Rocks: Sake isn’t exactly scotch, but it is lovely when poured over ice and garnished with cucumber.

4. New Styles

Sake comes in a multitude of grades and styles, from sparkling, flavour-unfused to cloudy and unpasteurized…there truly is a sake for everyone!

5. New Regions

While sake’s heartland is Japan where ~1500 breweries continue to craft in traditional and modern styles, sake is also made in other countries like the United State.

6. New Cupboard

Add sake to your list of ingredients when cooking. Just like wine, sake is incredible at adding body and flavour to dishes. Whether you use it to marinate your meats or in soup stocks, sake and mirin (low alcohol sweet sake) are great for upping the umami in your favourite Asian dishes!

7. New Travels

Take a sake flight! Delicate and subtle are two words often used when describing sake. A sake flight comparing aromas and flavours of 3-4 different sakes will allow you to experience the diversity of this amazing beverage from the comfort of your own home. Sake is made all over the world and it is truly an education to experience the differences in style and craftsmanship from one brewery to another.

8. New Cuisines

Sake is one of the most versatile beverages on the planet. It not only goes with Japanese cuisine but a whole host of international flavours.

9. New Senses

Tsukemono + Sake? Hai! These Japanese “pickled things” are wonderful with sake! The key ingredient in many traditional tsukemono is sake kasu, the leftover lees from sake making.

10. Familiar Company

Always the best company! Enjoying sake with friends will no doubt enhance the sake but also your evening! Remember this Japanese etiquette: Always pour for your friends and allow them to pour for you. Using little ochoko sake cups will mean copious amounts of pouring for each other over the course of a meal!