When ordering a drink from the
cocktail lounge at your local Japanese restaurant, you may find yourself wondering about
the differences between the sake options. If so, you should know that
you are not alone and that there are many types of sake available. Read
on to learn about a few of the most popular varieties.
When reading sake labels, you may see the word “
seimaibuai” mentioned on the label.
Seimaibuai refers to rice milling, a process which polishes away the outer layer of
the rice grains to improve the sake’s flavor.
Ginjo-shu, which is classified as premium sake, must have 40% of the original rice
milled away to give it a
seimaibuai value of 60% or lower.
Ginjo-shu has an enticing aroma and is typically served cold to preserve the flavor,
which is described by many as being light and delicate.
Sake is divided into categories depending on its ingredients.
Junmai-shu sake is often referred to as pure rice wine because no distilled alcohol,
additional sugars, or extra starches are added.
Junmai-shu sake is made from only rice,
koji (fermented rice), and water. Traditionally,
junmai-shu is made with a
seimaibuai of 70% or lower, and it tends to have a more acidic profile than other sakes.
Junmai-shu is often served hot and boasts a rich, full flavor.
Honjozo-shu is made from rice,
koji, water, and distilled alcohol. In this type of sake, distilled alcohol
is often used to balance the flavors of the drink. As with
honjozo-shu has a degree of milling of 70% or better, but it is less potent. Ideally,
honjozo-shu is served warm. The added alcohol gives this sake a smooth body and light
flavor that can be easily recognized.
Japanese restaurant serving San Jose, House of Genji features a cocktail lounge and offers a broad range of
sake options. For more information about our Japanese steakhouse, please
give us a call today at (408) 453-8120.