Food & Drink

How to Order Sake Like You Know What You're Talking About

Order sake like a pro.
IMAGE Leio McLaren via Unsplash

Sake is more popular than ever in the world outside Japan, and there's more kinds and more brands available in our bars and restaurants now than we've ever seen before. There's a lot to learn about sake and its appreciation, but any aficionado worth his salt will tell you that it's still all about enjoyment first and foremost, so the first may really be: Relax, and enjoy your drink.

Now while you begin your journey on the road to true sake wisdom, here is a cheat sheet to nailing that sake order like you've been doing it all your life:

1| Flip the bottle and find the back label. Scan the back label contents with a furrowed brown and an intense look.

2 | What you're really only searching for is the house symbol, and the number preceding it. The number will, more often than not, be anywhere from 23 to 70. This number pertains to the percentage of rice that remains after polishing. The lower the number, the more polished the rice used for the sake, resulting in what should be a smoother and cleaner sake, but not necessarily yummier. (Taste is relative after all.)

3 | There are different kinds of sake, according to this percentage:

-Daiginjo Sakes - maximum of 50% seimaibuai, or percentage of rice remaining after polishing
-Ginjo Sakes - maximum of 60% seimaibuai, or percentage of rice after polishing

4| Sound like a pro by asking your server to bring you his list of Daiginjo sakes for you to peruse.

5| Sound like an even bigger pro by asking him or her to bring you only the Junmai sakes. Junmai sakes are sakes that have no added distilled alcohol in them.

6| Honjozo sakes are sakes that have a tad of distilled alcohol in them. They say Honjozo came about because of WWII, when the Japanese government limited the use of rice for sake production, because of the country's rice shortage. This led to this new kind of sake being created--one where alcohol was added.


7| When all else fails, swing big and ask for the establishment's Junmai Daijinjo, crack it open, and call it a day.

For your sake fix, visit Bank Bar at RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center, 26th and 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

This article was originally published in The Moment Group's Life Hacks booklet. Minor edits have been done by the editors of Esquire Philippines.

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