Skip to content
We're open for online orders, store pick up, and same-day door service. (415) 355-9555.
We're open for online orders, store pick up, and same-day door service. (415) 355-9555.

Sake "Tips" - Hot Tubing With Sake 101

sake tips jan 2008Sake is serious business...... Not! ......( - said like our very dear friend Borat - R.I.P). Sake is a booze and booze is a luxury - we drink when we want to! Not when we "need" to. It is a beverage that is far from necessary for the human body or human condition. It is - in a word - a destination other than the platform that we currently stand affixed. In this light, and begging this time of year I get about ummmmm 20 queries per day about "what sake is good for hot tubing?" My first thought is "darn, I haven't been in a hot tub for about a half decade" and my second thought is "why rub that in my face?"

Okay I am a bitter guy - but for the sake of "journalism" (let me re- type that because it sounded so good) for the sake of "journalism" I'd like to offer those H2O cats, who love sitting in soup-degreed water for long durations of time typically under dark star-filled evenings in cold exotic destinations, a "professional's" opinion on how and who to do sake in a hot tub. (Did I just type that? - pathetic! Must be an Internet sake-related newsletter's "Sweeps Week")

As there are so many "legitimate" angles to cover this essential topic, I have decided to use a an abbreviated "bullet" point delivery system to better communicate the endless (boundless) examples of how sake and hot bubbly water go together - (and quite frankly each angle is and is not based on the "onsen" - natural hot spring baths and/or "seto" - indoor bath house - experience in Japan)

  • Try to not drink cold sake in your hot water bath, as a cold beverage doesn't agree with an "internal" digestive system that is warm to begin with. (If you do not believe the big cheese then ask any resident of a warm weather society - they will confirm that a room temperature or even a hot beverage will function better than a cold brew going down a hot gullet.) So get your brew out of the snow bank and bring it to at least log-cabin- fire temperature. This "tuber" prefers hot sake in a hot tub - let it be known.
  • Use the "Buddy System" when tubing - pick a partner who will take account of you and you of them when the going gets rough. If you are ummmmm! "willed" enough to tub solo then please don a life preserver and duct-tape a snorkel to your head in case you go "floater"!
  • My sommelier license deems that I recommend a full-bodied brew for your aggressively temperate water experiences - meaning don't bring a pricey Dai Ginjo or a Ginjo that tastes cleaner at a chilled temperature point into the hot tub (remember you want a brew that is good at room temp - warmed - or hot). You want a brew that is gutsy, frisky, filled with oom-pah-pah because you will be able to taste it! Light cold sakes will taste flat when standing gut-deep in bubbling water.
  • For those who are Japanophiles it is strongly recommended to tie two "Japanese water floats" - made of blown glass orbs used for fishing nets and traps in Japan and have been known to float across the Pacific to the shores of America - to save your drunken soul from going "Hollywood" in your watery delight. This is a themed water preserver of sorts and should make you feel comfy when drinking your Japanese brew in your own hot stew.
  • Glassware! Glassware, who the hell is recommending glassware in a watery pool of doom? Oh so you're the gal who broke the white wine glass in my hotel's hot-tub which resulted in the fact that yellow tape kept me from my hot watery reward? DON'T bring glass into a hot tub! Pretty simple rule, but probably the number one social contract rule that is broken on a daily basis in our free democratic nation. Think outside of the heated sand paradigm - think ceramics! It is best to use small O'Choko (those cute mini- cups) for hot or warm sake. And best of all - those suckers don't break! Small but effective. And yes they were designed small and compact to keep the sake hot in the small surface area.
  • The American Doctor's Oversight Committee (ADOC) has recommended the following "excessively heated water duration exam" when drinking alcoholic beverages in a hot tub: Close one eye - hold up one finger in front of your face - then open the other eye - if two fingers appear it is safe to assume that you are too hot - you then have two options: 1) re-fill your cup and call a cab - 2) re- fill your cab and call a cup.
  • For the true professional hot-tuber who knows his/her water temperature pairings I offer the following extension course advice: If you use Chlorine then go Kyoto-based sakes and if you use Bromine then use Kobe-based sakes. (This is for professionals only.)
  • Do not underestimate your inebriation - you are pretty much loaded when drinking alcohol in the hot tub, so do NOT stress out your dripping wet motor-skills by continually getting out of the tub to obtain more sake. Bring/pour the amount that does not require you getting out - so cold brrrrrrrrrr - and getting more sake. Make certain that you are brew equipped. (For the advanced tubers this could mean bringing the bottle into the tub with you - heated between 105-115 is perfect! - please disregard the rule about glass in the tub)
  • If one cannot be in the natural birthing condition - ye'ol birthday suit! - then it is strongly advised to wear trunks as apposed to high mountain garments such as thongs, bikinis, twinkie- slings, banana-hammocks, marble-pouches, etc. You see wearing trunks will always aid the overly-loaded consumer as the air-pocket in said trunks will bring the too-tipsy tuber to the surface 7 out of 10 times.
  • For those "tubers" who have a problem holding back your own heated water system there is a brewery in Osaka that is offering a "hot tub catheter sake system" that allows both male and female sake drinkers to not visit the "facilities" whilst hot tubing. All it takes is a little "pre-tubing" before you enjoy the realms of public tubing.
  • Beware of the "fruity" sakes that some rookie may have brought into your pool of dreams. Fruity for most spells "island vacation" with rum-based drinks that are way too sweet and yummy to drink slowly. Look for dryer brews sans the fruitiness that drink slower and more buoyantly. (Respect!)
  • Lastly - abandon the notion of bringing a "Nigori" (unfiltered) sake into your hot tub as this type of brew is best served very cold, and what did we learn? You do not want a cold brew in hot tubs. Secondly a Nigori tends to be quite heavy compared to a filtered brew and one does not want a "Nigori" belly when in the semi-nude. And furthermore warm Nigori tends to curdle - need we say more?
Previous article Top TEN List – 10 Medal Winning Sakes From The IWC