What is Junmai sake

Junmai (noun)

Japanese characters: 純米 (純: pure; 米: rice)

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1. Pure and simple

“Junmai” or “Junmai-shu” refers to sake that is made solely from rice, koji rice, and water – the only ingredients that are truly essential in order to brew sake.

2. No need to polish

Unlike other special designations applied to various sake grades (ginjo, daiginjo, honjozo), junmai has no “polishing rate” or “milling rate” requirement. Its designation is derived solely from its ingredient list, as outlined above.

3. The cool kid in class

Production and consumption of sake has been decreasing steadily since 1973, however sake categorized as junmai has seen a small, but steady increase since 2010. The number of breweries transitioning to producing only junmai sake have been gradually increasing in recent years, as well as the number of bars, restaurants, and izakaya dedicated to junmai.