Storing your Osake might be a challenging task, and it's a frenqently asked question from our customers about how to keep their Osake intact. What should you do upon receiving Osake? Is storing it in the refrigerator a good way? How to deal with an opened bottle of Osake? Does Osake have an expiration date? These questions might have happened to you before. The original taste of your Osake may go off according to the way how you store it. With a proper way of storing and caring your Osake, it's able to enjoy every single drop of your premium Osake.
It's commonly known that Osake should be stored in the refrigerator. During the process of being delivered from breweries to Hasegawa Hotel, keeping the Osake refrigerated is a fundamental requisite in both warehouses and retail stores. Excluding undiluted Sake, high quality Osake usually doesn't perish at room temperature in a short period of time, but keeping Osake refrigerated would help prevent it from perishing even better. Currently, in order to preseve the original flavor, more and more breweries tend to handle and store their Osake in refrigerating warehouses under 0℃ before shipment. Also, retail stores importing Osake from these breweries are required to equip with refrigerated system. Likewise, the most ideal container to store your Osake would be the refrigerator. In the case of lacking space in the refrigerator, it's suggested to keep your Osake in a cool, dark and steadily-temperatured place and consume your Osake as soon as you get a chance.
As Osake is vulnerable to both light and air, store it in a place out of UV light sources such as direct sunlight. Wrapping it in newspaper and putting it inside a box to avoid direct sunlight are strongly recommended for long term storage. UV light could cause changes in the ingredients and affect the flavor of Osake. This is why most Sake has been being packed in green or dark bottles since a very long time ago. On the other hand, Air (Oxygen) is also a big enemy of Osake. After opening the bottle, it's highly suggested to finish it as soon as you get a chance, or else when Osake comes into contact with Oxygen, it would oxidize and results in a change in flavor. If you fancy a bit of shifted flavor, leaving half of the bottle of Osake and either keep it in a Yongobin (A 720ml Japanese bottle) for 3-4 days or in a 1L bottle for a week is recommended. However, using a vacuvin to avoid oxidization is not recommended as it may risk the delicate smell of the Osake.
The characteristically refreshing flavor and texture of undiluted Sake attribute to it's more active yeast inside compared to brewed Sake. Therefore, the changes of flavor and texture of undiluted Sake go relatively faster. It's strongly suggested to refrigerate undiluted Sake before and after opening it.
The flavour and texture of this kind of Sake comes from it's bubbly characteristic. Hence, cautiousness is necessary when handling and opening them, especially for undiluted Sake and unrefined Sake, and make sure to stand up the bottle of Sake when refrigerating it. In some cases sake might spill out due to it's activeness of bubble if it's not being refrigerated. Open it in the sink straight after taking it out of the refrigator, and avoid pointing the bottle's neck at your face or other people. First, slightly turn the cap of the bottle a bit to check if it's foaming, recapping it tightly if it looks like spilling out, then repeat this action multiple times and it would be safe to fully open the bottle. Foaming varies according to different products. It's suggested to inquire for details about the best ways of keeping and opening your Osake when purchasing it.
Methods mentioned above are for your reference to handle and savor your premium Osake.
＊By courtesy of Hasegawa saketen special featured article