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Sake Ingredients: Rice, the Essence of Sake

Rice is the essence of sake. It’s the source of alcohol and it gives sake its flavour, aroma, texture and character. It’s like grape to wine but slightly different. But rice is not the most suitable ingredient for an alcoholic beverage for one obvious reason: it does not have much sugar. But people found a way to turn starch which dominates the rice grain into sugar using koji and to make beautiful sake.

In this episode, I am talking about the role of rice in sake making, how sake rice is different from table rice, sake rice varieties including Omachi, Yamada Nishiki, Gohyakumangoku, Miyama Nishiki and some others as well as what is red rice and why organic sake is rare.

Don’t forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.

Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.

Episode’s Content:

  • Rice: the essence of sake
  • The classification of rice varieties
  • Table rice vs. sake rice
  • Sake rice varieties
  • Red rice and Organic rice
  • Sake of the episode: Fukukomachi “Evening Sky” Junmai Karakuchi

Sake mentioned:
Fukukomachi “Evening Sky” Junmai Karakuchi
Kimura Shuzo
Tengu Sake

Origin Sake
Omachi-mai: The Phantom Sake Rice

Music used:
Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown

Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz


Vocal: Svetlana


Alex is a London-based sake blogger, podcaster, IWC Sake judge and sake advocate. He is a publisher of the Sugidama Blog website and a host of the Sugidama Podcast. Alex has an International Kikisake-shi (Sake Specialist) qualification from SSI (Sake Service Institute). He sees his mission as expanding the awareness of Japanese sake among as many people as possible and helping the growing community of sake lovers to bring together beautiful Japanese sake and non-Japanese food as a way to build a better understanding between our cultures.

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