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Various Alcohol Beverage Tasting for your Great Experience during your Tour in Japan

Kashima H.

by Kashima H.

(73 reviews)
Last updated : Oct 19, 202213 min read

Food & Drink

I would like to introduce Alcohol drinks which you can enjoy during your visiting various spots in Japan.
There are so many kinds of alcohol drinks you can taste in Japan such as Japanese Sake, Beer, Shochu, Wine, Whisky and so-on.
The main and historically important alcohol is Japanese Sake which are deeply related with Shinto religion.  It has important role during Shinto related ceremony such as wedding ceremony held in Shinto shrine and so-on.
One of the reasons it is served to Shinto ceremony is to pray for abundant harvest.  Another reason is to entertain Gods of the shrine where ceremony held because it is said that Gods like Japanese Sake.
This blog show you what is the characteristic of each alcohol drinks and what is the difference each by putting Japanese Sake in main stage.

At first, I sumarized the diffenence of each alcohol beverage you can taste in Japan as follows.

Type: Japanese Sake
Method of process: Alcoholic beverage made by fermentation (with using a same tank for two process of starch converting into sugar and alcohol fermentation)
Material: Rice
Alcohol degree: 15 ~ 16
How to drink: Tasted by the straight without adding any other liquid. (The taste and smell of it vary depending on temperature and you can enjoy those by various ways such as warming, cooling or normal temperature)
Glass used: Glass used for Japanese sake such as “Ochoko”, “Sake glass” (Note1)
Country of origin: Japan

Type: Shochu
Method of process: Distilled beverage spirits (After fermentation, distillation executed: Distillation process is to extract liquid after cooling steam which is heated)
Material: Sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat, etc.
Alcohol degree: 20 ~ 25
How to drink: There are various ways with adding liquids such as sour, hot water, water with ice to decrease the alcohol degree. Of course, you can drink it on the rocks.
Glass used: Glass used for Shochu as “Shochu glass” (Note2)
Country of origin: Japan

Type: Beer
Method of process: Alcoholic beverage made by fermentation (with using two different tanks for two process of starch converting into sugar and alcohol fermentation)
Material: Barley malt
Alcohol degree: 5 ~ 9
How to drink: Tasted by the straight without adding any other liquid by cooling
Glass used: Glass used for Beer as “Beer glass” (Note3)
Country of origin: Europe

Type: Wine
Method of process: Alcoholic beverage made by fermentation (no starch converting into sugar is required)
Material: Grape
Alcohol degree: 10 ~ 14
How to drink: Tasted by the straight without adding any other liquid
Glass used: Glass used for Wine as “Wine glass” (Note4)
Country of origin: Europe

Type: Whisky
Method of process: Distilled beverage spirits (ferment included in malt make starch converted into sugar and filter it. After that, the wort is fermented and distilled. Then, it is ripen in barrel)
Material: Barley malt, rye, corn
Alcohol degree: More than 40
How to drink: On the rock, mixture with wator, mixture with soda, cocktail made of whisky
Glass used: Glass used is specialized (Note5)
Country of origin: Europe

 

1) Japanese Sake vs Shochu:
a) What is the diffenece of material between Japanese Sake and Shochu ?
Material of Japanese Sake is rice, on the other hand, there are several kinds of materials of Shochu such as syrup took from sugarcane, sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat and so-on.

b) What is the difference of manufacturing process between Japanese Sake and Shochu ?
The main difference between Japanese Sake and Shochu is the existence of distilled process after fermentation.
Japanese Sake is  an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation.
R
ice which is the material of Japanese Sake does not include Sugar.  Therefore, it is necessary to change the starch inside rice to sugar by getting the power of koji (rice malt) mold. Then, the sugar changed from starch is alcohol fermented by the power of ferment.
In such way, this method which has two processes of starch converting into sugar and alcohol fermentationof with using a same tank  is called “Heiko-Fuku-Hakko”.

Shochu is a distilled beverage spirits.   It include distillation process after fermentation.
Distillation process is to extract liquid after cooling steam which is heated.

c) What is the difference of the way of drinking ?
The alcohol degree of Shochu (20 ~ 25degree) is higher than that of Japanese sake (15 ~ 16 degree) because distilled process is included in Shochu manufacturing.
In general, Japanese Sake is tasted by the straight without adding any other liquid. The taste and smell of it vary depending on temperature and you can enjoy those by various ways such as warming, cooling or normal temperature.

In case of Shochu, there are various ways with adding liquids such as sour, hot water, water with ice to decrease the alcohol degree.
Of course, you can drink it on the rocks.

2) Japanese sake vs Wine and Beer:
a) What is the diffenece of material between Japanese Sake and Wine , Beer ?
Material of Japanese Sake is rice, on the other hand, Wine is grape and Beer is barley malt.

b) What is the difference of manufacturing process between Japanese Sake and Wine , Beer ?
All of
Japanese Sake , Wine and Beer are an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation.
Grape which is the material of wine include sugar.  Therefore by adding ferment, alcohol fermentation eventually is proceed for Wine process.  This process is called ”Tan-Hakko”.

Beer as fermented liquor do not include sugar in the material, the two processes of starch converting into sugar and alcohol fermentation are proceeded separately using two different tanks.
This process is called as “Tanko-Fuku-Hakko”.

In case of Japanese sake, please refer the description in item 1).
The process of Heiko-Fuku-Hakko used by Japanese Sake is the Japanese original fermented method by using same tank which is more complicated and subtle skill required than that of Wine and Beer.

c) What is the difference of the way of drinking ?
In general, Japanese Sake and wine are drunk on the rock. The temperature range of Japanese Sake are very wide compared with that of other drinks.  Cooling sake with about 5 degree or hot Sake with about 60 degree.
In case of wine, the glass used is specialized and the size of Glass for red wine is usually larger than that of white wine.
In general, white wine is drunk by cooling, on the other hand, red wine by normal temperature.

3) Japanese Sake vs Whisky:
It is said that the people of Tokugawa shogunate government tasted whisky around 1853 at the first time when whisky was served to them on the ship Perry Expedition. In such way, Whisky is said to be western liquor in Japan.

a) What is the diffenece of material between Japanese Sake and Whisky ?
Material of Japanese Sake is rice, on the other hand, Whisky is barley malt.

b) What is the difference of manufacturing process between Japanese Sake and Whisky ?
In case of Whsiky,  at first, ferment included in malt make starch converted into sugar and filter it.  After that, the wort is fermented
and distilled.  Then, it is ripen in barrel. The flavor and color are depending on how original liquor is ripen and what kind barrel are used. During the process of bottling, original liquor is mixed and the final bottle products are shipped.

c) What is the difference of the way of drinking ?
Whisky is divided into five countries in the world such as Scotch, Irish, American, Canadian and Japan.
Because Whisky is distilled liquor, the dgree of it is fairly high ( more than 40 degree),  yoiu can enjoy various way of drinking by mixing various beverage in it.
Whsiky can be drunk by on the rock, mixture with water, mixture with soda, cocktail made of whisky and so-on with using specialized Glass for Whisky.

<**> Finally, I would like to introduce you about some drinking spots where you can enjoy for various types of alcohol as follows.
1) Japanes Izakaya where you can be relaxed and drink any kinds of alcohol.

2) Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku
3) Golden Gai in Shinjuku:
4) Whisky bar in Ginza where you can taste Whisky from Scotch, Irish, American, Canadian and Japan.
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If you are intersted in tasting varios Alcohol drinks in japan,  please visit my profile and ask me to support you.
                                                                                                                                                           
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Kashima H.

Kashima H.

4.66 / 5
(73 reviews)

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