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What to Pair with Sake

When you hear sake, you usually think of sushi and sake at your local sushi joint. Surprise surprise, sake pairs beyond just sushi. Actually, sake enhances most foods even better than wine and beer. Keep reading to learn why certain dishes pair better than others, some of them might surprise you! hint hint…Did someone say carne asada and sake?


What is Sake

Sake is an alcoholic beverage (15-17% abv) brewed from polished white rice. The four ingredients in sake are rice, water, and koji. Water and koji (rice mold) are used to convert the rice starch into a sugary fermentable liquid. And the yeast is used to ferment the sugars into alcohol to create sake! Each ingredient contributes to the appearance, color, and taste profile of the sake.


Sake is different from wine in that it uses rice instead of grapes. There are no tannins in sake (that means no preservatives!), and its flavors are more delicate than wine because there is less acidity and flavors.


Sake is different from beer in that it’s brewed from rice rather than starchy, cereal grains like barley, wheat, rye, and more. Beer uses unpolished grains in a process called malting, while sake uses polished rice that later goes through a parallel fermentation process to create sake.


Sake is enjoyed in many ways, from traditional sake carafes, to bottles, and cans! Sake High! can be sipped straight from the can, or grab one of our 750ml bottles and explore new cocktail recipes. Sake is all about community and celebration so try pouring sake for each other instead of yourself, and embrace the sharing and friendship.


Sake can be Paired with Most Cuisines

Unlike a lot of wines, sake is versatile with food pairings because of its low acidity, bitterness, and sulfites. Components like sweetness, umami, acidity, salt, spiciness, heat, and bitterness are important to take in consideration when trying new pairings of sake and food. Despite all of this, preference is key! Take into consideration your own sensitivities… What’s spicy to some is mild to others.


When selecting a good sake for your meal, don’t worry too much. Most foods pair well with sake even if they have some sugar, acid, and spice. If you want to show off a good pairing though, consider some of these rules:



SUGAR - foods higher in sugar especially desserts should be paired with sake that has equally as much sugar to avoid the sake tasting too dry and thin.


ACID - high acidity foods like meats are best paired with sakes high in acidity.


SPICY/HEAT - sweeter sakes with less alcohol pair best with spicier foods to lessen the spiciness and burning sensation.


SALT - saltier meals enhance the flavor of the sake.


10 Meals that Pair Well with Sake (besides sushi!)

Sooooo you learned what sake is and why it pairs well with most foods. It’s time to check out our FAVORITE Sake High! pairings. Drumroll please…


  1. Carne Asada - tasty, citrusy meat and a cold can of Sake High!, sign us up!

  2. CHEESEBURGER - The cheeseburger in paradise ft. Sake High!

  3. Poke - fresh and delicate fish paired with a refreshing can of sake!... booking flight to Hawaii asap (and packing some Sake High!)

  4. Fish Tacos - bring out the umami with some blackened fish tacos and Sake High!... maybe add a coconut too?

  5. PIZZA - umami and creamy cheese notes bring out the perfect balance in Sake High!... we’re ready for a Friday movie night.

  6. Cheese & Charcuterie - Sake enhances the amino acids profile of the cheese and meats, so switch it up at your next dinner party.

  7. Grilled Herbed Veggies - subtle, light, and fresh Sake High! is the perfect combo with some earthier and robust local veggies!

  8. Quesadillas - more cheese and yes, more Sake High! we’re in!

  9. Meatballs - Grab some Sake High! and meatballs (from tangy Japanese inspired to your classic italian) you’ll be sure to get a bite of goodness.

  10. Dumplings - Umami and higher acidity notes, you’ll be asking for more!

Find our Sake High! (and some street tacos) at locations near you!


Sip and Read More:

What is Junmai Sake?

Sake High! DIY Cocktails

What are the Types of Sake?


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