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Amazake - Japanese Encyclopedia

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Amazake is sweet beverage, frequently enjoyed hot during winter. Depending on the recipe, it may contain a small quantity of alcohol. Let's learn more about this healthy winter staple!

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What is Amazake?

Japanese Encyclopedia: Amazake

Amazake is a sweet drink made of white rice that has been favored by the Japanese for a long time. The name literally means "sweet alcohol," and it is frequently enjoyed as a hot drink on cold winter days.

As the name suggests, a small amount of sake is often included in traditional recipes.

Is Amazake a Soft Drink? How Amazake is Made

There are two ways of making Amazake. One is to use an ingredient called kome koji (malted rice), and the other is to use sake kasu (sake lees).

When malted rice is used, despite the name having the word "sake" in it, the beverage has no alcoholic content, so it is safe for young children to enjoy as well.

When amazake is made with sake lees, its ABV is under 1%, so even when sold in shops, it is not considered an alcoholic drink. It is sold as a soft drink, so those who have allergies or religious restrictions against alcohol should be aware of this.

Amazake is a Japanese Superfood!

Japanese Encyclopedia: Amazake

The appeal of amazake is not limited to its delicious taste. It is also highly nutritious, even referred to as a "drinkable intravenous drip." This fermented drink contains Vitamin B, amino acids, enzymes, glucose and it is considered to enhance your health and beauty. Amazake is also a superfood that relieves fatigue and keeps your skin and hair beautiful.

In addition to that, the amazake made of malted rice has no added sugar, so it is low on calories. For those who wish to get an energy boost or for those who are craving sweets, but are cautious about their calorie count, this may be the perfect drink!

When and Where Can You Drink Amazake?


Amazake is usually sold during the winter.

Aside from Japanese confectionery stores or tea houses in Japanese gardens, you can purchase amazake at local super markets or convenience stores. It is reasonably priced at around 100 Yen.

It is commonly sold in paper cartons or small cans, often with red packaging. It's meant to be warmed up, so if you find it sold cold, we recommend heating it up before drinking.

During the autumn and winter seasons, amazake is frequently provided at shrines and festivals. In the cold seasons, the hot amazake will warm you up instantly. If you manage to drink some amazake while visiting Japanese shrines, we hope you enjoy the taste of this amazing superfood!

During the summer, you can also find chilled amazake as well. In this case, the beverage will have blue packaging.

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