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How Much Sake To Get Drunk?

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Sake is one of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverages, with almost 13 million bottles sold in Japan every year alone!

Most people are introduced to Sake in their college days, as it’s affordable and extremely easy to drink. Many Americans mistake Sake for a non-alcoholic beverage because they aren’t sure how much they need to drink to get drunk!

Luckily, you’ll never have that problem again after reading this guide that answers the question”How Much Sake To Get Drunk?”.

So, how much Sake does it take to get drunk? That depends on your tolerance level and how quickly you drink it. However, we would recommend starting with just one or two glasses and seeing how you feel before having any more.

Sake is stronger than wine so you are expected to get drunk on one glass less of how much wine you consume. Cheers!

Is Sake A Strong Alcohol?


Sake has an ABV of around 15-17%, which makes it just slightly stronger than wine. However, Sake is made from rice. Unlike other beverages, Sake is not distilled. More than 80% of Sake consists of water and it is turned into alcohol by going through various complex fermentation methods that have been passed down to generations.

Tips On How to Drink Sake the Right Way

Drinking Sake can enhance your social time and it’s also a great way to have a drink that is different from the standard bar fare.

There are many different varieties of Sake from all over Japan, but there are also some tips you should know before you enter the Sake world.

Don’t Drink It as a Shot

Sake is a ceremonial Japanese drink that is typically enjoyed in small glasses called ‘guinomi’ or ‘choko’ on special occasions.

It is meant to be sipped and savored, not chugged like a beer or shot like vodka. It’s best if you enjoy Sake by sipping it slowly and letting the original flavors come through.

You Can Try It Warm or Chilled

Sake can be served and enjoyed hot as well as chilled. While this may greatly depend upon your preferences, warmed Sake is usually served to mask its low grade and high-quality Sake is always served chilled to retain its delicate flavors.

sake glass

Never Serve Your Own Sake

Traditional Sake custom states that if you’re consuming Sake in a gathering, then you should never serve yourself. In Japanese culture, it’s customary for people in groups to serve Sake for you. Don’t forget to return the favor!

Sake Food Pairings

The most traditional food you can pair with Sake is sushi and sashimi. You can also enjoy different variations of Sake with appetizers to bring out the flavors and make it simple yet memorable and enticing!

You can also take a less traditional route and pair Sake with other foods like vegetables, fried chicken, and pasta. These cuisines are not rice-based and allow the flavors of the Sake to be highlighted very well.

Understanding The Difference Between Junmai, Honjozo, Ginjo, And Daiginjo

sake bottle

The first step to understanding how much Sake you need to drink to get drunk is to understand the different types of Sake. Junmai is the most basic type of Sake and is made with just rice, water, koji (a type of mold), and yeast.

Honjozo is similar to Junmai but has a small amount of brewer’s alcohol added. Ginjo and Daiginjo are both made with more polished rice and require more delicate brewing methods, resulting in a smoother flavor. Daiginjo is the highest quality and most expensive type of Sake.

How Many Drinks Are In A Sake Bottle?

Sake comes in various sizes made by different brands ranging from 180ml up to 1.8Ls. A 750ml of Sake is equivalent to 24 fluid ounces of alcohol, which will give you six 4oz pours.

How Long Does It Take For Sake To Kick In?

alcoholic beverage

It takes about 30 minutes for alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream. So, if you drink Sake slowly, you should start feeling its effects after about half an hour.

However, the timing will also depend on how much food is in your stomach and how strong the drink is. But there are other factors at play, too, like your weight and metabolism.

So, if you’re wondering how much Sake you need to drink to get drunk, the answer is: it varies!

Can You Drink Sake Straight?

Sake is traditionally enjoyed straight, without any additives or diluted by water. If it’s your first drink then it is recommended to sip slowly to let the flavors and aroma come through.

Choose your favorite appetizers and relish this amazing drink on its own!

How Much Sake To Get Drunk – Final Thoughts

When someone enjoys good company and conversation and maybe a little dancing before they get drunk, they don’t care about how much Sake it took to get there. All that matters is that they had fun. Cheers and drink safely!

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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