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Sake facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Sake barrels

Sake (Japanese:酒; pronounced 'sa.kɛ' ) is a Japanese word for "alcoholic drink". In English, "sake" means one kind of alcoholic drink made from rice. In Japan, people call this drink nihonshu (日本酒 "Japanese alcohol") or sake. This article uses the word "sake" as it is used in English.


Sake is a fermented drink. Most sake is made from rice, water, kōji, and yeast. Sometimes a small amount of lactic acid is used in brewing. Water or small amounts of pure alcohol can be added at the end of production. Sake can have from 12 to 22% alcohol, but is usually around 15 or 16%. Lower quality mass-produced sake can have added sugar or flavorings.

Serving sake

Tokkuri sake2
A typical tokkuri and chokko

Sake is usually sold in bottles that are either 720ml or 1.8L. Drinkers or servers in a restaurant may pour small cups called chokko directly from the bottle. Sake is also served in smaller bottles called tokkuri. A typical serving in a bar or restaurant is 180ml. People may share that amount. When drinking together, people often pour drinks for each other rather than for themselves.


Amazake is sweet, low or non-alcoholic sake.

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