natsu-zake or natsuzake, special sake for summer. natsu-zake or natsuzake, special sake for summer.


Natsu-zake (noun)
[natsu-ZAH-kay, natsu-ZAH-kee (American English)]
Japanese characters: 夏酒 (夏: summer; 酒: sake)

1. As the Name Suggests
Natsu-zake is sake crafted specifically with the year’s most sweltering season in mind. Generally hitting the market beginning in early-June, breweries across Japan create special, limited-time releases evoking feelings and imagery associated with the season, hoping to convince a thirsty market to seek relief in sake.

2. New Sake Culture
The term “natsu-zake” has actually only been around since 2007. As the sake industry struggles to carve out it’s niche in pre-existing beverage markets, the concept of natsu-zake rose in popularity as an alternative in a market typically captivated by ice cold beers, refreshing cocktails, and sparkling wines. With summer as a clear concept to work from, an array of new sake styles were born.

3. No Definition, Infinite Possibilities
There is no formal specification to determine what qualifies as natsu-zake, with each brewery developing it’s own angle on the concept. As “refreshing” tends to be an overarching theme, nama-zake tends to be common, as well as sparkling sake, drier profiles, light nigori styles, lower alcohol brews, or even bolder genshu to be served on-the-rocks. Note that “summer sake” are not brewed in the summer, they’re simply made to coincide with the season.

Learn More>>Have you Tried Nama-zake?
Free Sake Infographics: Feel free to download and use them freely from here to help you learn more about sake!


Comments such as the following are prohibited and will be subject to deletion at the discretion of editors.
- Content that is biased toward a specific ideology, such as certain political or religious views.
- Content that slanders or otherwise defames a specific brand, store, or service.
- Content that suggests or implies limitations or restrictions on the way drinkers can enjoy sake, such as "This is one true way to properly enjoy sake!"
- Other content of a negative or unfavorable nature that inhibits the widespread enjoyment of sake by a diverse audience.
Respect each other and enjoy sake communication!