What is Sake Alcohol Percentage?

Hey guys. Don’t you think Japanese Sake is a high alcohol percentage drink?

That’s not true. Sake doesn’t contain a lot of alcohol like spirits.

Maybe, you’ve seen some photos showing that a middle age drunk Japanese businessman (we call them a Salary Man in Japanese) stumbled on a street with full of neon lights. Then you might think “Oh, Japanese Sake is dangerous!” But that’s not true. The most popular alcohol in Japan is a beer and Japanese tends to get drunk easily.

Or perhaps you have heard of Sake Bomb. This is the name of a drink, mix beer with Japanese Sake and drink it all at once. If you heard this impactful name you might think that “Sake is a strong drink like Bomb”.

But again, Sake is not super strong alcohol that knocks you out.

So I’ll talk about Sake Alcohol Percentage in the article.

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By the way, we are running a worldwide Sake community called “Japanese Sake Lovers” on Facebook.

I am very happy if you join us. Please feel free to post any topic to show your love for sake 🙂

> Japanese Sake Lovers (Facebook Group)

Alcohol Percentage of Japanese Sake is around 15 to 16

Alcohol percentage of Sake is generally 15 to 16 degrees. This is slightly higher than wine. Compared to various alcoholic drinks, it can be said that it is most similar to wine in terms of alcohol percentage.

Also, the alcohol percentage of Sake is at most 22 degrees. Because it is decided by Japanese law as such. Therefore, Sake is not alcohol with a high alcohol percentage compared to whiskey and spirits.

If you want to drink Sake with high alcohol content, I recommend Genshu type Sake. Because it is Genshu type that water is not added after Sake has been built, this type often has a high percentage of alcohol (there are Genshu Sake originally made with a lower alcohol percentage)

On the other hand, Japanese Sake with low alcohol percentage is also on sale recently. For example, sparkling type Sake “Mio” and “Suzune” hit by suppressing alcohol percentage by 5%.

Alcohol content in a traditional decanter of Sake

Then, how much alcohol is contained in 1 Tokkuri (traditional decanter for the Sake: 6 Oz / 180 ml)? According to the data released by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the answer is about 22g.

And the amount of alcohol contained in the same amount of wine is about 18 g, the amount of alcohol contained in the same amount of beer is about 7 g and the amount of alcohol contained in the same amount of whiskey is about 60 g. From this fact, we can think that the amount of alcohol contained in a Sake is close to wine.

TIPS for not getting drunk when drinking Sake

If you do not want to get too drunk when you drink Sake, please drink the same amount of water as Sake. This way of drinking water called “Yawaragimizu.”

When you drink Yawaragimizu you can dilute the alcohol concentration in your body. For example, if you drink a glass of Sake, if you do not drink water, alcohol increases 22g and water increases 180ml in your body , but if you drink the same amount of water, the body’s moisture has increased by 360ml. So the concentration decreases.

As a result, time to drunk will be longer and you will be able to enjoy meals longer.


Alcohol is enjoyed in various ways. It is a good thing to be discovered various ways of enjoying alcohol. Personally, however, I do not want to drink Sake at a stroke by Sake Bomb. I’d like to recommend you to imagine the behind story of Sake and artisan’s passion while you drinking it. It’s gonna be more fun, I believe.