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Sake is one of the versatile alcoholic drink. It can be enjoyed at varying temperature much like tea. The effects that temperature have on sake is dramatic. Cooler temperature sake has more clean flavors but less umami. Where as warmer sake is more rich and gives off a more umami flavor. The traditional way of warming sake is with a bottle and a pot of hot water. However, you need a thermometer and you need to monitor its temperature. Overheating it can make the sake too alcoholic. Luckily, there are a few machines available that makes all of this easy.
Best Sake Warmer List
There are quite a few different sake warmer on the market. They perform differently and works differently. All have their own advantage and disadvantage, but you should choose one that best suits your need.
Taji Sake Warmer Machine Commercial (Best Overall)
Taji Sake Warmer Machine is the best sake warmer on the market. They are designed and built to be used all day. You can adjust temperature of the sake with a simple knob and it offers indirect heating like a proper sake machine should. This prevents it from overheating the sake and killing the flavor.
This model offers a 3.6 liter tank so that you can serve sake all day. Perfect for restaurant. However, it can be a bit pricey for home use.
TWINBIRD Japanese Electric Sake Warmer (Best Buy)
TWINBIRD sake warmer is a better option for those who need a sake warmer at home. They have variable temperature setting so that you can enjoy sake at any temperature. This model is made for the Japanese household so the instruction will be in Japanese. However, its pretty easy to use and you should be able to get the hang of it.
Sake Set with Warmer (Best as a Gift)
A sake set with warmer is a more traditional and slightly more aesthetic way of serving sake. You heat up with sake with a small candle fire. The sake jar sits on top of a warming basin giving it indirect heat. Although this set can be functional, I suspect most who buy this is mostly for gift giving. It is beautiful and great as a center piece.
What Sake to Drink Warm?
There are some sake that are better suited to drink warm. Sake with a stronger rice aroma are preferred for the warmer temperature. Heat will bring out rich notes of the grain. Fruity and floral sake are best drank cold.
Much like hot tea or coffee, warm sake is best drank during a cold day. It produces a warming effect on your body. Although you can drink it during the summer, I recommend drinking it at night when there is a cool breeze.
Sake is considered to be warm at around 104 degree Fahrenheit or 40 degree Celsius. Sake at Temperature of 133 degree Fahrenheit (55 Degree Celsius) is generally considered to be too hot and have a alcoholic taste to it. Anything between these two temperature are the desired range. You should set it based on the alcohol and your personal preference.
As for warming it, you should always use gentle heat to warm it. The traditional way to warm sake is via a water bath. They offer one of the most gentle way to heat it.
Sake is a great beverage, it has many notes and nuances to its flavor. Depending on the type of sake and the temperature, you will pick up many different subtle difference in flavor. If you plan on getting serious about your sake, consider getting a sake warmer. There are quite a few different set on the market and they all work relatively well. You should select that best suits your need.
Looking for more Japanese Cookware? Check out the Surinachi Bowl it is a Japanese Mortar and Pestle.