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Sake Warming
Sake Warming
Hong Kong people generally prefer to chill sake before drinking it. During the chilly winter months, warm sake might be a better idea. In this column, I am pleased to explain how to warm sake, shochu and umeshu.
Miss Madoka Numata, Sake Buyer of city'super Wine Cellar
Sake Warming
The best way to warm sake is to soak it in hot water. Using a microwave oven is not recommended since it unevenly heats the sake, affecting its taste. Because the temperature of sake drops slightly while it is being poured, heat it up to 1-2˚C above the desired temperature. This serving style is ideal for Junmai or Honjyozo sake.

​1. After boiling a pot of water, turn off the heat. Place the sake vessel (such as a tokkuri or chirori) in the water.
2. The sake's temperature should rise to 38˚C after 1 minute and 43-45˚C after another minute. Take the vessel out of the hot water when the desired temperature is reached.

Recommended Sake:
• Chikurin Fukamari Junmai 
• Okunomatsu Honjyozo Karakuchi 
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Shochu with Hot Water
This serving style goes well with powerful-tasting shochu and is best matched with rich dishes.
1. Pour 60ml of hot water (about 80˚C) into a thick-walled glass.
2. Add 40ml shochu and mix carefully.
Recommended Shochu:
• Nishi Kiccho Houzan Imo Shochu
• Iki Taiso Mugi Shochu
Umeshu with Hot Water
This style accentuates the unique sweetness and aroma of umeshu.
1. Pour 40ml of hot water (about 90˚C) into a thick walled glass.
2. Add 60ml umeshu and mix carefully. To enhance sweetness, add few drops of honey.
Recommended Umeshu:
• Kaga Umeshu
• Yatsushika Sakayadetaukutta Umeshu
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A wide range of sake, shochu and umeshu can be equally good served at various different temperatures, with the flavour varying depending on the temperature and the variety of sake. For shochu and umeshu, add water according to your preference.