Since you are here, we know that you enjoy sake.
You’ll take it hot, cold, dry, sweet…it doesn’t matter. If it’s available, you’ll have it.
Having a good sake can make your day, but what makes it better is sharing the goodness with friends. Have you ever noticed that sake, when shared, tastes even better than when having it alone?
It’s kind of like sharing that special bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild that you’ve been saving, or pouring your friends a glass from the Remy Martin Louis XIII that you’ve saved up for…ok, maybe I’m being dramatic, but you know what I’m trying to say.
Unlike sharing a six-pack or making vodka tonics for your buddies, the bond that is formed between the server and the receiver of the sake when pouring a glass of sake, creates a family-like atmosphere that adds to the enjoyment of the party. It’s like you’re welcoming them into your circle of trust…and that’s when the party really starts.
It even encourages people to participate in the drinking, even the ones that may have initially said that they weren’t going to drink that night…Those are the ones that end up drinking most of the bottle and hogging the microphone at karaoke at the end of the night. I know you’ve seen that stuff before.
Getting back to the pouring etiquette, from personal experience, being on the receiving end of the pour helped me to get over the initial nervousness of meeting new people at a party. Ever since then, I make it a point to pour for as many people as I can at the gatherings that I attend.
Offering to pour sake for others is the key to having a great time, and making everyone feel welcome.
Now remember, as drinking etiquette in Japan dictates, it is polite to refuse the initial offer when someone tries to pour you a glass. The pourer, will then offer to pour a second time, to which you should again decline. The third time that the pourer offers you a pour, you can then say ok and put out your glass to receive the sake.
Be careful though, because you can end up with no sake if you do this outside of Japan. The pourer who is not accustomed to this ritual may just walk away after the first offer, leaving you with an empty glass, and you’ll be met with a confused look after you chase them down and say that you actually wanted a glass.
Now get out there and share that sake goodness with friends…old and new! Kanpai!