Sake is thought to be an everyday drink for the Japanese just like beer is for the English and Germans and wine is for the French. In fact, the national beverage now accounts for less than 7 per cent of Japan’s total alcoholic consumption.
With the population ageing and declining, and the economy suffering years of deflation, beer and beer substitutes are now more popular. Well before the UK faced Brexit, Japan was on the verge of Sakexit.
Sake producers are now looking for drinkers outside Japan. Once a rather rustic brew, sake has become more sophisticated in recent years with the arrival of pure and delicate products to suit palates used to drinking fine wines.
In Britain, it is often drunk warm, but the advice today is to serve it chilled at around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, like white wine.