Sake FAQ – Frequently Asked questions

General Sake Questions

Should sake be served hot or chilled?

Sake can be served both gently warmed or chilled. It really depends on the type. If you have an elegant Daiginjo, warming may erase any subtle aromas and complexities. However, a hearty junmai may open up with warming.

Once I open a bottle of sake, how long will it last?

You should consume sake as quickly as possible after opening. If it is kept sealed and in the refrigerator, it will not spoil and can be consumed for several weeks, however, the flavors will soften considerably.

Is sake meant to be aged like wine?

No, almost all sake is meant to be consumed young and fresh. Only a certain type of sake called Koshu is aged.

How should I store my sake?

I recommend that sake be stored in the refrigerator. This keeps sake out of the light and away from heat. Any unpasteurized sake must be kept refrigerated at all times

Is sake only made in Japan?

No, sake is made in several countries such as Austrailia and the United States. However, the best premium sake still comes only from Japan.

Q: How many calories are in sake?

As would seem obvious, most of the calories in sake come from alcohol. Different sakes have a range of alcohol percentages and residual sugars, so it’s impossible to give a fixed, absolute calorie count for all sakes. Instead, we can work with an approximate average to get us in the right ballpark. So, you can figure sake has about 40 calories per 1 fluid ounce / 30 milliliters. Let’s translate this to some common sizes to give us practical approximate calorie counts:

Small “ochoko” sake cup (1.5oz | 44ml) = 60 Calories

Small “tokkuri” sake carafe (5.0oz | 150ml) = 200 Calories

1 “go” serving (6.0oz | 180ml) = 240 Calories

“One Cup” peel-top sake cup (6.0oz | 180ml) = 240 Calories

300ml Sake Bottle (10.1oz | 300ml) = 404 Calories

2 “go” serving (12.1oz | 360ml) = 484 Calories

720ml “Yongobin” Sake Bottle (24.3oz | 720ml) = 972 Calories

1.8L “Isshobin” Sake Bottle (60.8oz | 1.8L) = 2,432 Calories

Now, remember, these calorie counts are approximate based on calorie averages. Most sakes on the market are 15.5% alcohol by volume. If you’re drinking a 6% alcohol sparkling sake, it’s reasonable to assume the calories would be lower, and conversely, if you’re drinking a fortified Honjozo Genshu Nigori at 20% alcohol, calorie counts would likely be higher. In any case, these calorie counts can help us at least get a handle on our sake calorie consumption… hold the Big Mac.

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