This is a question that many people will ask when they first begin drinking sake. But why does the temperature even matter?
When sake was first brewed in the past, there was no refrigeration or special technology to produce
sake without the flavour or aroma being altered during the production or storing process. This resulted
in sake that was much rougher, fuller, sweeter, and woodier that was well suited for heating. As a result,
most sake was traditionally served either at room temperature, or perhaps heated in order to mask
foreign substances. With recent developments in technology and specialized sake equipment, however,
sake with more delicate and refined characteristics have become available and these characters would
be lost if the sake is heated.
So what is the best temperature to drink sake at?
It may feel like a cop-out, but honestly, the answer to that question is that it depends on the type of
sake you’re drinking, and your personal preference. Unlike most alcoholic beverages, the characteristics
of sake can significantly change depending on the temperature that it is served at. Sake can possess
different characteristics and flavours at different temperature, which is why many sake connoisseurs will
tell you to experiment and find what fits you best.
Generally, by heating sake you can appreciate a drier and more aromatic scent whereas chilling sake will sharpen the delicate and smooth flavours.
It is rare around to find a beverage that can be enjoyed in such a wide range of temperature which
makes sake special as an alcoholic beverage. There is no hard and fast-rule to the temperature that you
should enjoy your sake at. Experimenting to find your favourite brand and temperature is an adventure
in itself and the best way for you to get to know your sake so sit back, relax, and enjoy.