Sake - saké - 酒 (さけ) is a Japanese drink made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by a brewing process more like that of beer, where the starch is converted into sugars, before being converted to alcohol.
In the Japanese language, the word "sake" (酒, "liquor", also pronounced shu) can refer to any alcoholic drink, while the beverage called "sake" in English is usually termed nihonshu (日本酒, "Japanese liquor"). In Japan, sake is labelled with the word seishu (清酒, "clear liquor")
In Japan, where it is the national beverage, sake is often served with special ceremony – gently warmed in a small earthenware or porcelain bottle called a tokkuri, and sipped from a small porcelain cup called a guinomi.
Jizake - "local artisan sake" is sake that is produced by microbreweries, in various prefectures, thoughout Japan. They are most often located in remote countrysides, which gives birth to a variety of interesting flavor characteristics not possible through mass production. The Kura (sake breweries) continue their centuries old, traditional methods of production, and rely on the experienced skills of their Toji (brew masters), rather than employ modern and more efficient technology.
Japan Super for imported groceries, fresh produce, select cuts of meat, Sashimi & Sushi grade fish, Fugetsu-do mochi & wagashi, fresh baked Yamazaki breads and Niitaka-ya tsukemono, etc. - www.japansuper.com
MM Sake is a modern, mobile friendly site that offers a vast selection of Sake and Shochu - www.mmsake.com
Sake House USA offers over 150 more brands of Sake and Shochu - www.sakehouseusa.com
Gyunomi (drinking cups) by Jeff Brown Pottery - www.jeffbrownpottery.com/sake.html
Information on Shochu - www.kampai.us
Japan America Society of So. Cal - www.jas-socal.org
JETRO - Japan External Trade Organization - http://www.jetro.org
Rafu Shimpo Japanese Daily Newspaper - www.rafushimpo.com