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Aroma of Japanese Sake

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Aroma of Japanese Sake
Sake and the 1-sho (1800ml) bottle - the reasons for 100 million bottles a year


Japanese Sake
Japanese Sake is currently enjoying a worldwide boom in popularity as a leading alcohol of Japan. Recently at a dinner party held on the opening day of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in Japan, the alcohol that was served for the toast of the assembled world leaders was daiginjo, which is made from the spring water of Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture.

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Mt.Fuji

In times past, the main impression of sake was that it was an alcohol for older gentlemen, however in recent years many things with aromas like that of fruit are popular regardless of gender and a great amount of this drink has been exported overseas.

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Bar and Liquor Shop in N.Y.

Alcoholic content of the 'best in the world' by fermented liquor
Local specialty alcoholic drinks of various countries around the world are unique to those countries and it is common knowledge that the citizens of these countries possess an infinite pride and desire for these drinks.
Since ancient times, sake, which is made by traditional methods using rice, rice malt and pure water, has been a proud part of Japanese food culture.


The alcohol content of liquors is 3-5% in regular beers, 8-15% in wine and 10-15% in fermented Chinese alcoholic beverages. However, the alcoholic content of the majority of daiginjo is 15-16% and for freshly pressed unprocessed sake is mainly 18% to 20-23 % at a maximum.

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Beer:3-6%, Wine:8-15%, Fermented Chinese Alcohol:10-15%, Sake(Daiginjo):15-16%

Ancient customs
In Gishi-Tōiden (Commentary on the barbarians in the Eastern countries as told in Wèi Chronicle) a 3rd century Chinese historian, Chenshou (223-297) writes of Japanese people that "There is no difference between father and sons, men and women; all possess a love for sake". He then goes on to write that on an occasion of mourning "The chief mourner would cry and the others would sing, dance and drink sake". This reveals how sake existed among the ancient Japanese people and that there was a great drinking culture at that time.
At the start of the Nara Period (710 to 794), the method of brewing with rice malt started to spread and in the Ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government in Japan in the 7-10th century) a government office, called the Office of Sake Brewing, was established. This put in order the sake brewing system for the Imperial Court.

The chief brewer and workers at a sake brewery
Making sake
The brewing and management process of sake is complicated and ingenious and it is unprecedented in the world. This feature is parallel fermentation, where saccharification and alcohol fermentation occurs at the same time. This technique is passed down from the chief brewer to his successor. The chief brewer bears full responsibility for the place where sake is made, that is the sake brewery, and the other technical experts are distinct from the workers at a brewery. The chief brewer is not only an expert in all technical aspects of sake brewing, but they must also be generalists and possess superior ability in leadership, judgment and management.

Drinking delicious sake
Born in Niigata Prefecture, Dr. Kin-ichiro Sakaguchi (1874-1994) was a world authority on fermentation and zymurgy and he argued that "Great sake is sake that can be drunk like water, almost as if it doesn't even touch the throat". This must surely be taken to mean that great sake is well-rounded and has an overall balance of grace, good taste, sweetness and sourness. Taking a deeper look, it is possible to see in great sake the bountiful rice and water that is characteristic of Japan and also the skillful traditions of the maker.

Temperature and vessel for drinking sake
There are a great many temperatures suitable for drinking sake; there is warm sake, warm sake and ice, sake on the rocks and cold sake. Even amongst these categories there are deeper distinctions, for example warm sake can be served as hinata-kan (warm like under comfortable sunlight: 30°C), hitohada-kan (gentle warmth of the human body: 35°C), nuru-kan (the warmth of a relaxing hot spring bath: 40°C), jo-kan (taut, refined heat: 45°C), atsu-kan (hot enough to warm the body and soul: 50°C) and tobikiri-kan (extremely hot: 55°C).
Only in the world of sake is there such abundance of drinking vessels and a selection of suitable drinking temperatures. Such variety cannot be seen in other fermented liquors and distilled liquors. Along with the choice of drinking vessel, there are a variety of drinking temperatures.

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Rei-syu, Atsu-kan(Hot sake), Colorful drinking vessel

Benefits of drinking sake
Prevention of cancer
Prevention of arteriosclerosis
Prevention of dementia
Prevention of osteoporosis
Sake has less burden on the body rather than distilled liquor
Sake makes the skin beautiful
* However, it is important to give your liver a rest sometimes
Yukio Takizawa MD "Two cups of sake a day may exert health-positive effects in people"

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Sake and the 1-sho (1800 ml) glass bottle
The 1-sho bottle is original and distinctive of Japan. This bottle keeps the aroma and conveys the taste of the sake.
Since its creation in 1901, the 1-sho bottle has been protecting the Japanese food culture for over 100 years.
Nowadays, around 170 million 1-sho bottles are shipped in a year as a container for alcohols, such as sake and shochu.
100 million bottles of sake alone are shipped in one year
Among the many containers that are out there, the 1-sho bottle offers complete excellence, with superior transparency, chemical durability and sealing. If bottles containing alcohol related to foodstuffs are included, then in one year 200 million bottles are shipped.
Sake and the 1-sho bottle: the reason for this indispensible link is that the 1-sho bottle is a world-class glass container that the Japanese people can be proud of.

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