How To Serve Sake

Recently, I attended the New York Mutual Trading, Inc. at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. New York Mutual Trading, Inc. has been a leading Japanese restaurant supplies and equipment wholesale distributor in the U.S. since 1926. Importing 4,000 Japanese food and sake, Japanese Chef Knives, tableware and kitchenware vendors to the U.S.

There were cooking demo’s and food samples but what I noticed was a large amount of vendors specializing in sake (rice wine).  The event even had breakout session offering  tips on sake selection, enjoyment and how to serve Japanese sake.

Here were the top Sake facts I learned at the event:

Do the types of containers used change the taste of sake YES!!
The fragrance and taste of sake are totally dependent upon the size and shape of the container in which the sake is served. There are three points to consider in choosing containers for serving sake .


A daiginjo type is best served in a glass made for white wine. A positive characteristic of this glass is that it has a wider opening for enjoying the bouquet. Aged sake is best served in a brandy glass.

If you would like to enjoy a thicker, richer sake (a junmai or honjozo type) and fragrance is less important to you, then use an earthenware sake cup. If you prefer freshness or coolness (a daiginjo or ginjo type) for drinking in the summer time, those sake 's are best served in a thin glass.

The seasons
Japanese sake tastes better if the container is appropriate to the season. In summer, a thin carafe with ice in it will convey an atmosphere of coolness. In winter, the warmed thick pottery carafe referred to as a Tokkuri helps to impart a sense of warmth.