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How to Serve Hakushika Sake

Outside of Japan, most people have the image that sake must be served warmed but in actuality, whether or not to warm sake should be up to the type of sake served, the season or climate, and personal preference. While a warm cup of junmai sake may be very enjoyable on a cold or snowy day, a well-chilled glass of namazake (draft sake) may be just the right beverage for a warm summer day.

Premium Sakes and Temperature

Fragrant premium sakes such as ginjo and daiginjo types are best enjoyed slightly chilled, room temperature or slightly warmed. Since heating these delicate types of sake results in the dispersal of pleasant aromas, the first impression of over-heated ginjo and daiginjo will result in an overpowering nose and after time, the sake will lose its best flavor characteristics.

Namazake and Temperature

Namazake and namachozo are "fresh" sakes which are best serve chilled or over ice. Because these sakes do not undergo the pasteurization process common in other sakes, heating these kinds of sake can result in an unpleasant yeasty smell. To enjoy these sakes at their freshest, fruitiest best, low temperature servings are highly recommended.

Junmai, Honjozo, Futsushu

These sakes are the most versatile and may be served at any temperature between well-chilled and well-heated. Special care must be taken, however, not to overheat. At temperatures over 55℃, the finer characteristics become indistinguishable and the sake assumes an overpowering alcohol odor.

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