Unfamiliar Sake Terms: Genshu

The first hurdle when buying sake is the label and navigating your way around unfamiliar terms like hiyaoroshi, origarami, or nigorizake, but these terms give little hints about the taste profile of the contents in the bottle, so understanding their meaning makes it that bit easier to find something that matches your preference.

In this article we will decipher the term genshu. Genshu is a term used not only for sake, but also for shochu and other alcoholic drinks as well. So, what does genshu mean?

Type of Sake That Is Labelled as Genshu


Genshu is the term used for undiluted sake. In sake brewing, water is sometimes added to the sake after filtration (pressing) to adjust the alcohol content in a process called kasui. Genshu is quite simply the version that omits this kasui, so genshu tends to have a higher alcohol content than standard diluted fayre: normally, the alcohol content for diluted sake is around 15%, but the alcohol content of genshu is around 20%.

Undiluted sake can also be labelled with the word mukasui instead of genshu—and as they mean the same thing, both terms are used interchangeably.

Taste Characteristics

As it’s not diluted with water, the taste of genshu is bold and rich. Because of the slightly higher alcohol content, some people might find that it’s a bit too strong for them, but others argue that undiluted is the only way to enjoy the real taste of sake.

The Diluting Process: Kasui


As already explained, kasui is a step in sake brewing process, and the process is done to adjust the taste and the alcohol content of the sake. The amount of the water used to dilute the sake varies depending on the sake types and the brewery.

Ways To Enjoy Genshu


Sake is usually served cold or warm, but for genshu, we recommend on the rocks: as the ice melts, it slowly reduces the genshu’s kick, so that you can avoid getting drunk too quickly. Genshu also makes for a great cocktail base; mixing it with your favourite fruits juices or soft drinks is a great easy way to make a simple sake cocktail.

Enjoy The Taste of Genshu!

It’s the fact that genshu is not diluted with water that allows you to experience the real taste and fragrance of sake. That’s why many breweries make it this way in the first place. And there is no better place to enjoy genshu than at KURAND SAKE MARKET, where you can find many different types from different boutique breweries. We look forward to welcoming you soon.