Japanese alcoholic beverages

31.10.2014
As usual, in our articles we tell about japanese food, its traditions and new waves. But here we are going to wtite about alcoholic beverages in Japane. 
<div> In Japanese society, drinking play an important role which is a common activity that is used to strengthen social and business ties. Typically, Japanese are drinking at bars, restaurants or izakaya, a type of Japanese drinking establishment. There are few type of alcoholic beverages in Japan, which are Japanese beer, shochu, awamori, umeshu, sake / nihonshu, and wine. </div>

<h4>Sake / Nihonshu  </h4>

<div>Sake or nihonshu is the traditional rice wine in Japan. It is drunk either hot or cold. It comes in several different varieties, and was first made at least 2,000 years ago. Since then, sake has played an important role in Japanese culture and history.  </div>

<div>Sake is brewed using rice, water and white koji mold as the main ingredient. Sake is produced by the multiple parallel fermentation of rice. The basic process of making sake involves polishing or milling the rice kernels. Rice kennels were cooked in good and clean water, and made into a mash. The alcohol content for undiluted sake is 18–20%, and it is often lowered to around 15% by diluting the sake with water prior to bottling.  </div>

<div>There are three types of tokutei meisho-shu, which is special designation sake. First is honjozo-shu. Honjozo-shu is premium sake which is added a slight amount of brewer’s alcohol before pressing. It is extract extra flavor and aroma from the mash. Secondly, there is junmai-shu. Junmai-shu is pure rice sake. It is made from only rice, water and koji, which is steamed rice that has koji-kin, or koji mold spores, cultivated onto it. Thirdly is ginjo-shu, which is made from rice polished to 60% or less of its original weight.  </div>

<div>There are many more types of sake due to the different handling after fermentation. Below are five examples of sake: </div>

<div>- Namazake is sake that has not been pasteurized. </div>

<div> -Genshu is undiluted sake. </div>

<div>- Taruzake is sake aged in wooden barrels. </div>

<div>-Seishu is clear or clean sake. </div>

<div>-<span style="font-size: 12px;">Nigorisake is cloudy sake. </span></div>

<div>Sake is drunk either hot or cold. It is served at various temperatures depending on which food or which situation you are in. </div>

<h4>Japanese Beer </h4>

<div>Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Japan. The leading breweries are Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo.  </div>

<div>In the early Meiji Period, the brewers from Germany arrived. They imported the art of brewing beer as a development project for the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan.  </div>

<div>Due to the Japanese taxation system, it divided beer-like beverages into few categories based on malt content. The varieties of brewed malt beverages in Japan are categorized into 2 groups, which are beer and happoshu. An alcoholic beverage contain at least 67% malt is classified as beer in Japan.  </div>

<div>Happoshu is sparkling alcoholic beverage, also known as low malt beer, which contains less than 67% malt. It has a similar flavor and alcohol content as beer. The different is it made with less malt, and it gives a lighter taste. Today, most of the happoshu contains less than 25% malt. This is putting it in the lowest tax category of low malt beer to sell at a lower price.  </div>

<div>The third beer is a beer-like beverage which contains no malt, and made from soybeans, corn, and other ingredients. It is made by Japanese breweries to produce even lower taxed. They are counter the tax changes that reclassified the malt content of beer and the price of happoshu is increase. </div>

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  <h4 style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Shochu</h4>

  <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Shochu is a traditional Japanese distilled spirit with alcohol content between 25% - 30%. In the old time, Kyushu island a southwest island of Japan, was difficult to make good sake under its warm climate. In 16th century, a spirit and distilling method were indroduced in Kyushu island from Ryukyu (Okinawa) and Asia through the trading.</p>

  <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Shochu made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and brown sugar. It can be drink straight, on the rock, mixing with water, hot water, tea or soft drink. Takara shochu is one of the brands that can found in Malaysia.</p>

  <h4 style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Awamori</h4>

  <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Awamori is Okinawa style spirit with alcohol content between 25% - 40%. It was imported to Japan and China and loved for its unique taste. Awamori and its method of production were introduced to Kyushu and it was the origin of Kyushu style spirit shochu. The different is it is made from long grained Thai-style rice instead of short grained Japanese-style rice. It also can be drink straight, on the rock, mixing with water, hot water, tea or soft drink.</p>

  <h4 style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Umeshu</h4>

  <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 10px; word-wrap: break-word;">Umeshu is plum wine which is made from Japanese plum, sugar, and shochu or nihonshu. It has sweet, fruity, juice-like flavor and aroma. It is usually served on the rocks, mixed with soda, or as an umeshu sawa (plum sour). One of the brand that you can easily found in Malaysia is Choya.</p>
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