Sake (rice wine)
Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage primarily made of rice, yeast and water. It is classified by a brewed alcoholic beverage made with Japanese unique methods of brewing.
Sake has various flavors that you can enjoy―from the fruity and refreshing flavors that spread in your mouth, to thick flavors that diffuse throughout your body.
Compared to other alcoholic drinks in the other countries, there are a variety of ways to drink and enjoy sake, such as drinking it cold or hot.
The Japanese have this culture of ordering first a mug of beer at a drinking party.
Since its brewing process is different, Japanese beer may taste bitter than other beers from all over the world.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink among the Japanese who can freely buy many different kinds of beer at convenience stores.
Shochu (Japanese distilled spirits)
Shochu is a kind of distilled spirit with a high alcohol content and is made from sake lees and rice, barley or sweet potatoes.
The characteristics of shochu are explained below according to the ingredients used: Sweet potato
Sweet potato shochu has an aroma of roasted sweet potato and is characterized by retaining the flavor of the original ingredient.
It has the sweetness of a sweet potato. Even if you mix it with water or hot water at any kind of percentage, the balance of flavors still remains intact.
For most shochu, rice is used to produce koji molds for alcohol fermentation.
Using the koji-cultivated rice as a base ingredient, shochu-making is divided by various sweet potato shochu in the next step; the one use only rice throughout the process is rice shochu.
Rice shochu is characterized by its thick flavors.
Barley shochu has a mellow, sweet, elegant and light flavor. It is commonly drunk as a light shochu that you can enjoy with ease.
Awamori (rice brandy)
Awamori is made from Thai rice with a long and hard grain and fermented with black koji molds produced in Okinawa.
There are many Awamori products that have higher alcohol content than other shochu.
There are many shochu that also use various ingredients such as buckwheat and muscovado sugar.
Japanese-made whiskey is becoming world-class.
"Nikka", "Suntory Yamazaki" and "Hibiki" are examples of whiskey that gained popularity in other countries
Compared to European wines, Japanese wines contain less organic salts. It goes well with seafoods compared to continental wines.
Hokkaido, Yamanashi, Nagano and Yamagata Prefectures are main producers of Japanese wine, and Koshu wine and Katsunuma wine from Yamanashi Prefecture are especially popular that they occupy 1/4 of Japan's wine production.