Japanese characters: 原酒 (原:origin, primitive, or wild; 酒:sake)
1. Undiluted Sake
Genshu is undiluted sake. A majority of sake on the market is slightly diluted with the water used in brewing. Genshu is often characterized as being generally richer and/or more full-bodied.
2. ABV: A Numbers Game
Sake diluted with water to adjust flavor balance and/or lower the alcohol content generally has an ABV of about 15-16%, however most genshu are around 18% on average, and can go as high as around 22%. That being said, nowadays brewers are discovering methods for creating low-alcohol genshu, many of which are 12-15%, keeping it on-par with most wines on the market.
3. On The Rocks
Just as most sake is slightly diluted, adding a couple of ice cubes to a glass of genshu isn’t going to hurt anything, and is actually an increasingly common way of enjoying this style of sake that is growing in popularity. For those that find high-alcohol genshu to be a bit much, an ice cube, a touch of water, or even sparkling water, are common recommendations.