Sake is Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Unlike wine, in which alcohol (ethanol) is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by a brewing process more like beer, where the starch is converted into sugars before being converted to alcohol.
The brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer in that, for beer, the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two discrete steps.
In Japan, sake is treated as national beverage and often served with special ceremony – gently warmed in a small earthenware or porcelain bottle called a tokkuri, and sipped from a small porcelain cup called a sakazuki.
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