Junmai & Honjozo

Junmai & Honjozo

These dependable categories of sake are the workhorses of the sake world. 


The Junmai category is historically the “way sake was.” These brews can have their rice milled to many different levels from 80% with 20% removal to 65% with 45% removal as long as the milling percentages are on the label. The old norm was Junmai sake had to be milled to at least 70% remaining and 30% removed, but this is no longer the case.  The result is that some Junmai can drink very rich and full-bodied, and some drink lighter and more elegant. Just remember that Junmai also means “rice and water only,” and it’s a great center of the plate food pairing sake that is perfect for most cuisines from salty and savory to rich and robust, fried and grilled to baked and steamed, and from spicy to complex. Good for chilled, room temperature, warming and heating. 


Honjozo sake has the same rice milling standard that Junmai sake used to have 70% remaining and 30% removal.  The difference with Honjozo is that the makers add a little “brewer’s alcohol” to lighten the sake and clean things up. Honjozo sake is not fortified sake – it is not made stronger by the added alcohol – in fact it makes a sake lighter and more refreshing. This category of sake is perfect for easy drinking and easy food pairings.  Good for chilled, room temperature, warming and heating.

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