March 2006

"Ask Beau" March 2006

Posted by admin in 2006, Ask Beau, March, Newsletter

beauSifting through my "Ask Beau" email account this month's question jumped out for two reasons. Firstly it is really cold right now in San Francisco, and secondly I just broke a bottle of beer in my freezer last week. Huh? Let me explain. David R. from Tucson, AZ writes:

"Can you freeze sake, and if so how do you drink it?"

Well David, seeing that sake is 80% water at some point that baby will freeze. It takes longer for a higher alcohol percentage sake to freeze, but eventually they all do. The question he was alluding to was if fact we wanted to freeze sake. Is there any flavor benefit or is this a style?

Sake slushes are quite popular on hot summer days, and as a result several breweries make sakes in Tetra-pak boxes to allow them to expand. True Sake sells one from Tamanohikari called Reishu and it is a Junmai Ginjo with an SMV of +3. The trick to this concoction is to also freeze a decanter to pour the cold sake into after freezing for 10 hours. If you pour the semi-frozen sake into a glass that is room temperature it will not "slush up." I saw the President of this brewery pour one of these for me in Kyoto several years back. The way he poured it was like a magic act. He had thought that I had never seen this done before and he made these grand showman Vegas-style movements like Voila! Your very own sake slushy! It was pretty funny. Basically the end result is like a frozen sake margarita. It has the same consistency. But they do taste great on a hot day!

On a side note, I recommend that if you do not have time to chill your sake using the refrigerator by all means toss the bottle into the freezer for 10 minutes, and then take it out and gently swirl it in the bottle and give it another 5 minutes. Then pop it into the fridge. But DO NOT forget the bottle, as it will burst!

Please send your sake specific questions to askbeau2 @ (This address is not for general questions and I only review the questions once per month. All correspondence should use info @

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