What is distilled sake called?

Answered by Kyle Floyd

Distilled , my dear reader, is called shochu. Now, before we delve into the intricacies of this unique spirit, allow me to take you on a journey through the world of sake and its process.

Sake, often referred to as rice , is actually quite different from wine. Unlike wine, which is made through the fermentation of fruit, sake is brewed through the fermentation of rice. It is a labor-intensive process that requires precision and skill.

To create sake, rice is polished to remove the outer layers, leaving behind the starchy core. This polishing process is crucial as it determines the quality and flavor of the final product. The polished rice is then washed and soaked in to absorb moisture, which helps activate the enzymes necessary for fermentation.

Next, the rice is steamed to make it soft and sticky. The steamed rice is then transferred to a fermentation vessel, traditionally made of wood, where koji (a mold culture) is added. Koji plays a vital role in breaking down the starches into sugars, which can be fermented by .

After the koji has been added, a yeast starter known as shubo is also introduced into the fermentation vessel. This mixture of rice, koji, and yeast is left to ferment for several days, allowing the yeast to convert the sugars into .

Once the fermentation is complete, the liquid is separated from the rice solids through pressing. The resulting liquid is then filtered and pasteurized, which helps stabilize the sake and extend its shelf life. the sake is aged for a period of time to develop its flavors before being bottled and enjoyed.

Now, let us shift our focus to shochu, the distilled sibling of sake. While sake is brewed, shochu is made through a process of distillation. Distillation involves heating the fermented liquid and collecting the alcohol vapor that is produced. This vapor is then cooled and condensed back into a liquid form, resulting in a higher alcohol content.

Shochu can be made from a variety of base ingredients, including rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and even sugar cane. Each base ingredient imparts its own unique flavors and characteristics to the final product.

The distillation process allows for greater control over the alcohol content and flavor profile of shochu. It can be enjoyed straight, on the rocks, or even used as a base for . The versatility of shochu makes it a popular choice among enthusiasts.

While sake and shochu may share similar names, they are distinct in their production methods and characteristics. Sake is a brewed fermented alcohol made from rice, while shochu is a distilled spirit made from various base ingredients. Both have their own unique qualities and can be enjoyed in different ways. So, the next time you find yourself pondering the differences between these two spirits, remember the intricate processes that bring them to life and savor the flavors they offer.