To truly experience authentic Japanese cuisine, you should pair your meal with sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. This alcoholic beverage is quite unique, and you will find it is available in a wide variety of delicious flavors. The staff at Natsunoya Tea House, a sushi bar in Honolulu, HI, says that this drink may be served either hot or cold, depending on personal preference and the type of sake. Below, they explain how to decide whether to take your sake hot or cold.
Local Sushi Bar’s Guide to Sake
When to Drink Hot Sake
Traditionally, sake has been served hot—usually between 100° and 110°. The reason for this is that early sakes were often brewed in cedar containers that transmitted unpleasant flavors to the finished drink. Heating the sake helped remove this unwanted taste profile and masked other impurities. Although modern brewing methods have rendered this problem obsolete, many people find hot sake desirable, especially on cooler days. Additionally, less expensive sakes often taste better when warmed to just above body temperature.
When to Drink Cold Sake
Today, improved brewing practices allow most sakes to be served chilled. Generally, cold sake will be served between 40° and 50°. The benefit of cold sake is that it preserves the full flavor profile of the drink. This is especially important when drinking premium sakes, whose carefully crafted flavors can be hidden or marred by heat. If you’re unsure whether to take your sake hot or cold, the bartender at your local sushi bar can give you advice tailored to your chosen bottle.
When you’re in the mood for authentic Japanese cuisine, visit Natsunoya Tea House. This historic restaurant has served the Honolulu area for nearly 100 years, and customers rave about their walk-in sushi bar. They also have excellent banquet facilities and are widely regarded as the best catering company in Honolulu. Call (808) 595-4488 to inquire about their catering services or visit their website to view their current menu.