Best Hot Sake & Shochu Brands


Let’s warm up with hot sake & shochu…

Too chilly for cold sake? Here is a quick guide to embracing some dark and cold nights…

Step 1: Fill a carafe with sake.

Step 2: Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. 

Step 3: Put your carafe into the pot immediately.

For those who want to make it comfortably warm, leave it in hot water for 90 seconds.

If you want to enjoy even hotter sake, leave the sake in hot water for 2.5 minutes as a guide.


Best Sakes to Enjoy Hot

Tengumai “Yamahai Junmai”

Funky mushroom aroma that matches the acidic, dry and earthy first impression. Also has hints of walnut bread and honeyed mead.


Izumibashi “Black Dragonfly Kimoto Junmai 2 year aged”

This Kimoto Junmai has a rich body, well-balanced acidity, and strong umami flavor. Umami is the aftertaste, which is a balanced richness from both bitterness and sweetness, and a smooth acidity. Yogurt and sour cream flavors can be detected in the long, lingering finish.  On the nose, find Lychee, Melon, muscat, orange, fragrant olive, lime, lemongrass, yogurt. On the palate, enjoy detailed, balmy and bulge body, gentle and mellow sweetness, clean acidity.


Tamagawa ‘Heart of Oak’ Tokubetsu Junmai

Classic Junmai sake with a crisp, rich flavor. Name, Tamagawa, “Jewel River”,  is thought to derive from the Kawakamidani River which flows by the brewery.  It is smokey, with nutty top notes that are joined by berry-like fruitiness and plenty of rice-driven umami. Recommend serving it room temperature or warm.




Best Shochus to Enjoy Hot

On the rocks is perfect, but if you are looking for some warmth during this chilly winter, hot shochu is going to be your best buddy.

Step 1: Prepare hot water at 60-70°C (140-158°F) and add to the glass first. In Japan, the typical ratio is 3:2 (60% shochu and 40% hot water).

Step 2: Pour your favorite shochu into the glass.

Step 3: Enjoy the aromas of the shochu and feel cozy…

Yama no Mori

Made from 1/3 rice and 2/3 barley, this shochu possesses exceptional clarity and refinement. It is distilled on Iki Island, where barley shochu originated over 400 years ago.


Kaido [Sweet Potato]

Has a soft mouthfeel, huge presence of umami, and a clean aftertaste. Kaido Shochu is a blend of sweet potato and rice Shochu. It is made using Koganesengan sweet potatoes from Kagoshima, and rice koji made with 100% Japanese rice, then is crafted skillfully and carefully using Black Koji.


Ikkomon [Sweet Potato]

“IKKOMON”means “Stubborn”. IKKOMON are made by stubborn craftsmen who are determined to “Quality”. Rather than growing the koji (rice mold) on steamed rice, Ikkomon’s koji was grown on steamed sweet potatoes. The nose has the roasted sweet potato scent with an underlying sharpness or acidity that suggests there’s something just a little bit different from others.