You can drink sake any way you’d like, but there are some tips that help you better appreciate the true flavors of sake.
The rule of thumb is that an unopened bottle of sake is good for about 1 year after the bottling date on the label or cap. Once opened, the sooner you consume it, the better tasting experience you'll enjoy. But it can be last for 1 or 2 month in the refrigerator. Sake lasts longer than wine.
The heat will badly affect the taste and quality of the sake. Choose a storage area where the temperature stays below 68°F (20°C). If the sake is sold refrigerated, then store it in the fridge at home. Once opened, a sake should be kept in the fridge and consumed within days. Also, both sunlight and fluorescent light should be avoided to keep the taste of the sake intact.
Sake is a fermented alcohol beverage like wine and beer. Vodka and Gin are spirits which is distilled alcohol beverage.
Nigori sake is a Japanese traditional drink and Makgeolli is a Korean traditional drink. They look similar, but typically Nigori sake has higher alcohol contents with a smoother texture and Makgeolli usually has lighter alcohol contents with a corse texture.
Each sake has a SMV (Sake Meter Value) that measures the density of sake compared to water and is the barometer for gauging the dryness and sweetness of sake. The SMV ranges from a negative to positive number and is usually indicated on the back label of the sake. Negative numbers mean sweet, positive numbers mean dry, and zero means neutral. The higher the positive number, the drier the sake becomes, and the lower the negative number, the sweeter the sake becomes.
SMV +8 = Very dry
SMV +4 = Dry
SMV -5 = Sweet
SMV -30 = Very Sweet
Daiginjo or Ginjo types are typically enjoyed chilled as they have subtle aromas and complexities that you may not want to erase from warming up the sake. Junmai or Honjozo types have rich aromas and taste that can be enjoyed warmed, room temperature and chilled. Specialty sakes such as Sparkling Sake, Nama (draft) Sake, and Nigori Sake are best served chilled.
Feel free though to experiment and explore the different aromas and taste from different temperatures!
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