Sake is the national drink of Japan and is rapidly becoming a popular choice for drinkers around the world. Japan Centre prides itself on its extensive supply of sake, from the varied offerings of master brewers such as Gekkeikan to rare, award-winning sake from smaller suppliers. Whether you’re a sake connoisseur or a complete beginner, let the Japan Centre be your guide to the rich world of sake.

Standard Sake

Standard sake is a comparatively inexpensive, everyday variety of sake. It can be thought of as the sake equivalent of table wine.

Standard sake is brewed using modern, quicker fermentation methods. Distilled alcohol is added after fermentation for a clearer, cleaner flavour.

Standard sake is the most versatile of all the sake varieties. It can generally be enjoyed on any occasion, served cold, at room temperature, or gently warmed, either on its own or with any entree or main course.

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A higher quality than standard sake, Honjozo is made with rice polished to between 60-70% of its original size. Brewed alcohol is added after fermentation for a cleaner, more delicate flavour.

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Junmai is of a similar quality to Honjozo sake. No distilled alcohol is added to Junmai, so its flavours are fuller and more mellow.

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Tokubetsu Junmai & Tokubetsu Honjozo

Tokubetsu is a Japanese word meaning 'special', and it can apply to both Honjozo sake and Junmai sake varieties.

Tokubetsu sake is of a higher quality than other Junmai and Honjozo sakes. Tokubetsu sake uses higher quality rice and is polished to 60% or less of its original size.

Brewed alcohol is then added after fermentation for Tokubetsu Honjozo, or left out for Tokubetsu Junmai.

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Ginjo is the second highest sake grade. It is made using slower, older brewing methods and rice polished to at least 60% of its original size. Brewed alcohol is then either left out for Junmai Ginjo, or added for regular Ginjo.

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The highest quality of sake available. Daiginjo is brewed with rice polished to less than 50%, with brewed alcohol left out for Junmai Daiginjo, or added for regular Daiginjo.

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Sake Cocktails & Recipes

Strawberry Sake Cocktail

Enjoy a sweet, sumptuous, cocktail, perfect for Valentine’s Day, with this strawberry sake cocktail. This tempting cocktail combines the sweetness of strawberries, the acidity of yuzu juice, and th...

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Sake Mojito

Give a Japanese twist to a classic cocktail with this recipe for sake mojitos. Substituting the rum for sake, this mojito is a little less sweet and slightly drier than standard mojitos. Great for ...

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Sake Fizz

Enjoy a bubbly celebration of Japanese alcohols with this sake fizz recipe. Sake is as varied in its flavour as wine or beer, and it can be mixed with other ingredients to make unique cocktails. Th...

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Japanese Sake Cocktails

Let our Japanese Sake Cocktails take you on a truly delicious journey. These quick and easy recipes pair Japanese classics with well loved mixers to create unique combinations which nod to cocktail...

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Gekkeikan Sake - In Store & Online

At Japan Centre Leicester Square, we are pleased to have some sake sommeliers in the UK as our experts in store. They have selected some of the best sakes, from the finest breweries to be imported directly from Japan, creating one of the largest ranges of sake in the UK. If you have any questions about sake, how it is made or which bottle to buy, the sommelier team at Japan Centre will be only too happy to help.

Japan Centre Sake Subscription

Standard Set

Are you curious to experience Japanese sake for yourself, but unsure about where to start? Alternatively, are you a knowledgeable sake connoisseur who enjoys a cup or two of a particular variety every now and then? In either case,’s sake subscriptions could be perfect for you.

With our Classic Sake Subscription Box, customers will receive a different type of sake each month as well as a selection of savoury snacks specially chosen by our experts to compliment your sake most perfectly. If you know exactly what your sake preferences are, our Select Sake Subscription might be a better fit. With this subscription, customers sign up by choosing what they would like to receive from a special selection of available standard and premium sake. Customers will then receive that same order every month, and never have to worry about being without their favourite sake again.

Find out more about’s sake subscriptions by clicking below.

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Choosing and Enjoying Sake

Sake is made from rice, water, koji and yeast. Good sake has no other ingredients other than maybe some added alcohol to balance its taste and texture. Check out Japan Centre’s wide range of sake in one of our London stores or here

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The Wonder of Sudo Honke Sake

Sudo Honke is one of the oldest sake breweries in Japan and because of this, their history differs a little compared to other sake breweries. Using rice from local fields, pure water sourced from on-site wells and brewing without distilled alcohol is just as important today as it was to their ancestors.

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Sake Makers


Ozeki Sake was first established in 1711 in Imazu, Hyogo Prefecture. As time has gone on, Ozeki has cemented itself as one of Japan’s major sake brewers. They were also one of the first Japanese sake brewers to set up a facility in the US (in Hollister, California, in 1979), making them well positioned for introducing authentic sake, made by Japanese brewers, to the US and the rest of the world.

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Shirataki Shuzo

The Shirataki Shuzo brewery was established in 1855, based on founder Minatoya Tosuke’s desire to brew sake out of the clear mineral water in Echigo Yuzawa Town, Niigata Prefecture. The combination of this natural charcoal filtered water, locally-grown Koshihikari rice, and the same traditional sake making principles that have been passed down through generations, are what makes Shirataki Shuzo’s sake some of the best in Japan.

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