A Sudden Flavour Transformation !? A Type by Type Explanation Of How to Choose your Sake Vessel

This article is a revision of an earlier article.

What does everyone pour their sake into?

The norm would probably be an ochoko or a small glass. There is bound to be the odd person who insists on pouring into a wine glass — absolutely nothing wrong with that after all. Aficionados will no doubt find their own individual way of drinking.

The point is that most people normally don’t pay too much attention to which drinking vessel they are using. However, the flavour of sake changes dramatically depending on what you choose, so today’s article takes a more detailed look at the pairing of sake and sake cup.

The Basics of Choosing a Vessel

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When someone tells you to choose a drinking vessel yourself, you might be a little lost about which is the best for the job. First of all we will teach you the most important points to consider.

1. Capacity

The easiest thing to gauge is the vessel’s capacity; the amount of sake poured can alter its flavour. When you drink chilled sake, a smaller vessel is recommended so that you can finish the sake up before the temperature changes. Incidentally pouring too much sake may cause the flavours to dissipate.

2:The Aperture

The width of the aperture is also extremely important. It is the aperture that changes the surface area of the sake. A wider surface area speeds up the rate at which the sake oxygenates and increases the amount of aroma that is volatised, making aromatic sake feel more aromatic. A smaller aperture has the opposite effect.


And finally, the shape: whether the vessel has a lip, it is rounded or not etc. A type where the sides are curved outwards is going to pronounce fresh aromas, whereas a convex type is going to suppress aromas and bring out rich flavours instead.

Recommendations Based On Type Of Sake


Pairing Guide

Pairing with Aromatic Styles (daiginjo, ginjo)


For aromatic styles like ginjo etc, a trumpet shaped glass where the sides curve outwards is perfect; you can enjoy the aroma before it disappears. A glass with a deep bottom is even better.
Source: SSI

Pairing with Light Styles (Futsushu, Honjozo)

For types with a clean dry flavour, a small size vessel which will allow you to finish the sake in a few sips is the recommendation: something that allows you to finish it before the temperature alters. As for the shape, a thin trumpet shape will capture aromas better.
Source: SSI

Pairing with Vintage Styles (koshu, vintage)

For koshu and other vintage styles, the recommendation is colourful gaudy vessels with a sturdy construction. Choose lacquerware for better vibes. As for the shape, something narrow with a big aperture to pull in and trap the unique rich aromas.
Source: SSI

Pairing with Full Bodied Styles (junmai, kimoto)

Junmai and kimoto styles possess the most sake-like ricey flavours. Therefore, a Japanese style vessel should be the vessel of choice. Something which bulges out slightly from the top downwards is best. The well rounded aromas are trapped and pronounced by this type of vessel.
Source: SSI

Special Category : Is there such a thing as the sake overflow style?


One question that often pops up is the existence or nonexistence of the so-called overflow style.

It is a method whereby placing the glass in a box or dish you pour until the sake overflows out of the glass into the secondary vessel. The validity of the method is something that separates sake fans.

Some hold the opinion that this kind of pouring conveys a feeling of extra value. And then there are those who think it is downright squalid looking— not to mention the fact your hands get wet as you to try to drink that way.

Either opinion carries weight. What side are you on?

Pouring at home is one thing; purposefully spilling the sake in a restaurant is perhaps something that ought to get the customer’s approval beforehand.

To End….

So that about wraps up our little guide about the pairing of sake and sake vessel.

You are welcome to bring your own sake cup to KURAND SAKE MARKET. There are limitations on the size of cup allowed, so please confirm with our staff beforehand.