Sake is the indigenous and traditional alcoholic beverage of Japan. Over 2000 years of culture and tradition encapsulated in a delicate sip. Sake's roots are traceable to ancient times long before the Samurai. It was first brewed thousands of years ago as a sacred offering to the gods. Today, Sake still serves a celebratory function, however, it is no longer confined to special occassions. In recent time, Sake has become very much apart of daily Japanese life. In both joy and sorrow, the Japanese lift their glasses, "kampai."
Sake is made from rice and water, abundant ingredients found in Japan. Only the finest sake-brewing rice is combined with the natrually clear stream waters from haunting misty highland valleys. Sake boasts a soft yet mild stimulating taste. The alcoholic content is typically around 16% with regional and style deviations in both directions. It is low in calories and can be enjoyed either warm or cold, depending on the time, season, and occassion.
Shochu is Japan’s other native mainstream beverage. Unlike sake, shochu is distilled and carries a higher alcohol proof generally around 50, but can be found as high as 84. Shochu is most commonly distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, and rice.