Warmed Sake- is one of the classic ways to serve Sake. Warmed Sake tastes good and gently warms you up from the inside. Most people would think that warm Sake is the best during the cold months paired with steaming hot Oden (Japanese hot-pot dish).
Warmed Sake during the cold months is tasty as you feel your body warm-up, on the other hand, more focused on warming up yourself and may not taste Nihon- shu as much as you should have. Nihon-shu has various flavors at different temperatures. Try different temperatures to find your favorite warmed Nihon-shu temperature.
This chart shows the ranges of sake temperatures and their names.
|Name||Fahrenheit (Celsius)||Japanese Name|
|Very Hot Sake||133°F (55°C)||Tobikirikan|
|Hot Sake||122°F (50°C)||Atsukan|
|Slightly Hot Sake||113°F (45°C)||Jokan|
|Warm Sake||104°F (40°C)||Nurukan|
|Body Temperature||95°F (35°C)||Hitohadakan|
As you can see from the chart above, it is named every 5°C increment. While chilled Nihon-shu has a crisp flavor and faint aroma, warmed Nihon-shu pleases your palate with deep complex flavor and rich aroma.
It’s interesting to describe Nihon-shu which is below body temperature as “Sunbathing”. Lower than this temperature falls into the “room-temperature” category so the name “sunbathing” says that the Sake was literally left in the sun.
・How to warm Sake
Here’s a guide on how to warm up your Nihon-shu. I wish I could say, the easiest way is to pour some Nihon-shu in a Tokkuri Sake carafe and Microwave it… but direct and rapid heat can ruin the flavor of Nihon-shu so for the best result, making a double-boiler in a pot is the best. Since the boiling point of Alcohol is 172°F(78°C), use a thermometer to heat water up to 176°F (80°C) and soak a Tokkuri Sake carafe and raise the Sake’s temperature slowly. This way you can enjoy the mellow flavor without the stingy aroma of alcohol. You can also steam a Tokkuri Sake carafe.
In the midst of a pandemic, it’s a must for drinkers to have bar quality Sake at home. Try making a Nihon-shu at a different temperature and enjoy the different flavors.
Editor’s note: also check out our YouTube video on How To DIY Kanzake at Home!