5 Rice-derived drinks from Japan

In this article, we are going to get to know some Japanese drinks derived from rice. Japanese people are very fond of rice, they eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Japanese also drink a lot of rice. There are thousands of different types of sake, rice milk, rice tea, etc. Today we are going to meet 6 drinks made up of rice, sake, amazake, genmaicha, nigorizake, shochu and awamori.


I think most people know what it is Sake [酒] (or Sake), an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice. Sake is consumed hot in big celebrations like New Years and Shinto ceremonies and it usually has 16% of alcohol. 

The best temperature to consume the sake is 25º C, it is considered a wine and is composed only of rice and water. There are thousands of varieties of sake and other ways to prepare it. To learn more, we recommend reading our article on sake, rice drip.

Drinks from Japan derived from rice


Amazake is a sweet sake (甘酒) with little or no alcohol content. To produce it you need: Aspergillus oryzae (a fungus), heat, humidity and a cereal which is usually rice.

The process of creating amazaki allows you to create a type of natural sweetener that can accompany your desserts and other dishes in a natural way. Its use is also present in ceremonies and festivals such as Children's Day.

Drinks from Japan derived from rice


Genmaicha (玄米茶) is a green tea paired with roasted brown rice. This tea is sometimes called “popcorn tea” because some grains of rice burst when roasted. 

The tea obtained from these leaves has a light yellow color. Its flavor is mild and combines the flavor of green tea with the aroma of roasted rice. This tea would be consumed by the poor, they would add roasted rice to fill it and reduce the price of tea.

Drinks from Japan derived from rice

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Nigorizake (濁り酒) or doburoku (濁酒) or just nigori is a type of Japanese sake (wine) made from rice. Nigori is typically the sweetest of sake, with a fruity smell and mild taste.

Unlike regular sake, it is not filtered at the time of fermentation, making the drink more cloudy (without transparency).

Drinks from Japan derived from rice

Shochu and Awamori

Shochu (焼酎) is a distilled beverage made from barley, sweet potatoes or rice, and has about 25% of alcohol. Awamori (泡盛) like Shochu is also a distilled beverage made from rice, but it is made on the island of Okinawa, using a rice from Thailand and a different fermentation mold, and has about 25% to 43% of alcohol.

There are many other drinks made from rice, such as milk, different types of wine, cachaça and sweet drinks. Many of these drinks are made the same way, using different techniques and flavors. Hope you enjoyed the article, until next time!

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