Sake Drinking in Bath
Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. It is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of foods. There are many different types of sake, but the six main types of premium sake are Junmai-shu, Honjozo-shu, Ginjo-shu, Daiginjo-shu, Nigori-shu, and Yamahai-shikomi.
Here at Independent spirit of Bath we pride ourselves on our sake selection and indeed have our own in house sake expert who trains many of Bath's local bar and restaurant staff on their ranges.
There are a few venues already that do have a good sake selection in Bath and we would absolutely recommend a visit to two in particular; Budo Ba Bath and Robun. Whether you prefer the rich, full-bodied taste of Junmai-shu or the delicate and complex flavor of Ginjo-shu, there is a type of sake to suit every taste and occasion.
The types of Sake and how to drink them.
Junmai-shu - Junmai-shu is pure rice sake without any added alcohol or sugar. It is made from rice, water, and koji, a type of fungus that converts starch into sugar during the fermentation process. Junmai-shu has a rich, full-bodied taste and is often enjoyed at room temperature or slightly warmed. It pairs well with grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.
Honjozo-shu - Honjozo-shu is made with a small amount of added alcohol, which gives it a lighter taste and aroma compared to Junmai-shu. It is brewed with rice, water, koji, and a small amount of distilled alcohol. Honjozo-shu is often served chilled and pairs well with sushi and sashimi.
Ginjo-shu - Ginjo-shu is made with highly polished rice, which removes the outer layer of the rice grain and enhances the flavor and aroma. Ginjo-shu is brewed at lower temperatures and for longer periods of time than Junmai-shu or Honjozo-shu, resulting in a delicate and complex flavor profile. It is typically served chilled and pairs well with grilled seafood and vegetables.
Daiginjo-shu - Daiginjo-shu is made with even more highly polished rice than Ginjo-shu, resulting in a very refined and elegant flavor. It is brewed at even lower temperatures and for longer periods of time than Ginjo-shu, making it one of the most complex and expensive types of sake. Daiginjo-shu is often served chilled and pairs well with light dishes such as salads and steamed fish.
Nigori-shu - Nigori-shu, also known as "cloudy sake", is unfiltered and has a milky-white appearance due to the presence of rice sediment. It has a sweet, creamy flavor and is often served chilled and shaken before pouring. Nigori-shu pairs well with spicy foods and desserts.
Yamahai-shikomi - Yamahai-shikomi is made using a traditional, labor-intensive brewing method called the Yamahai method. It involves a slower fermentation process that results in a slightly acidic and savory taste. Yamahai-shikomi is often served at room temperature or slightly warmed and pairs well with rich, savory dishes such as beef stew and curry.