Do you drink water when you drink sake?
Drinking plenty of water allows you to enjoy the taste of sake while placing less of a burden on your body.
The Sake Chaser: Yawaragi-Mizu
Strong alcoholic beverages such as Whiskey are normally enjoyed together with a chaser of water.
High levels of alcohol have a powerful impact on your stomach, quickly increasing the alcohol concentration in your blood so that it reaches your head faster, consequently placing a heavier burden on your liver. However, drinking together with water thins out the alcohol allowing you to take your time and enjoy it.
The chaser that you drink with sake is called “Yawaragi Mizu” (LIT: soothing water).
Prevent Overdrinking with Yawaragi Mizu
While it may not be in the same league as Whiskey, sake still has a strong alcohol content. It is vital to replace the water lost by break-down and excretion of alcohol.
A body that has consumed alcohol is parched: the volatility of alcohol makes it difficult for the body to retain moisture. A chaser of water will rehydrate a body in a state of moderate dehydration. Furthermore, by replacing lost water, you ease alcohol absorption which makes it easier to monitor your drunkenness — to prevent over-drinking.
Refresh with Yawaragi Mizu
Yawaragi Mizu refreshes your palate, enhancing the flavour of the next glass of sake or bite of food. It plays an essential role in helping you get the best out of the sake and food pairing experience.
At the same time, ice-cold water / cold water can have the opposite effect in placing a burden on your body, so it is best to drink water at around room temperature.
Some restaurants provide Yawaragi Mizu in the form of “water for sake brewing”; brewing water contains just the right amount of minerals, compensating for the nutrients that often get lost during alcohol consumption. As a form of Yawaragi Mizu, it is perfect; mineral water makes a good substitute as well.
Understand the effects / benefits of Yawaragi Mizu and better enjoy your sake life!