Sake can also be drunk heated, a practice that originated in the ninth century
when aristocrats would warm sake to entertain guests. By the 18th century,
people were drinking warmed sake throughout the year. It was around this time
that Kaibara Ekiken, a physician, wrote a book stating that drinking warmed sake
improves the circulation of chi (energy flow). Going back 1,300 years, there are
reports of the emperor and aristocrats drinking chilled sake in the summer by
adding ice that had been stored during the wintertime, a very extravagant way to
enjoy it. Since the 1980s, a larger number of sake varieties with a light, fresh flavor
have appeared, encouraging the serving of sake chilled.
Hot or Cold Sake?