History of Sake

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Sake is a rice-based alcoholic beverage that is becoming more popular in the rest of the world as its popularity declines in Japan. Learn about the history of sake, from its roots in China to its expansion to the United States, in this free video sake guide from a master sake sommelier.

Series Summary

Sake is produced from the fermentation of rice. Initially, sake was produced by people chewing a combination of chestnuts, millet, acorns and rice and spitting this mixture into a large bowl. Since these ancient origins, sake has become a integral part of the Japanese culture. In fact, sake was consumed in World War II as the final beverage of Kamikaze pilots. The fermentation of this popular alcoholic beverage has advanced significantly, to what is now a sophisticated and scientifically advanced industry which produces many different varieties. The Japanese government opened research institutes in the early 1900s to streamline the sake brewing process. By 1988, Japan had almost 2,500 sake breweries. The drink has also become popular all over the world. In this free video series on the history of sake, a sake sommelier will discuss the fascinating history of this drink, from the roots in the Yangtze River valley, to the World War II troops, to the current generation of Japanese businessmen. Find out how sake is used in religious ceremonies as well as to transact a business call. Learn why sake is not as popular in Japan as it used to be. Discover how sake made in the United States differs from the sake made in Japan.

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