Sake Nation: “Seasonal Sake – Part 1: Summer Sake”

By Kosuke Kuji

Sake is representative of its brewing season, consumed seasonally when the flavor is most savory and delicious. 

Since ancient times, the Japanese custom is to savor seasonal flavors during each of the four distinct and beautiful seasons. 

This report introduces how to enjoy seasonal sake flavors during each season in four separate issues.

Japan endured a scorching hot summer that neared a boiling point this year. In the past, few sake products were released for consumption during the hot summer season. Until recently, the sake industry appeared to yield their summer business to beer products. However, a new genre of “seasonal summer sake” was developed within the last fifteen years. Summer sake is a refreshing draft sake enjoyed during the summer season with an alcohol content of 12 or 13 percent, lower than the usual sake.   

While diluted water is usually added to pressed sake to lower the alcohol content, recent advancements in brewing technology enables “undiluted sake” to be brewed with an alcohol content of 12 percent, the defining characteristic of summer sake. 
Draft sake is subtle in flavor and refreshing for the summer season. Please try this delicious summer sake if you have an opportunity to visit Japan during the hot summer season.