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traditional drink with sushi 2014/3/19 14:04
I've been recently hearing that sake/nihon-shu doesn't go well with sushi as it's "rice with rice". Although the majority of you might say "drink whatever you want", I would like to try to maintain tradition within a certain degree when it comes to dining. Usually here in the States at a really good sushi restaurant, I usually drink sake the establishment offers such as high-end sakes of various grades (junmai, ginjo, daiginjo) from different regions of Japan. However, when I'm in Tokyo, I've noticed that people order beer and it seems much more natural for me to do so. However, I don't think it's a general consensus to not drink sake at all with sushi as the chefs I've encountered don't seem to have an issue with it.

So I ask on this knowledgeable forum: what traditionally is drunken with sushi, especially at a high end restaurant in say Ginza? If it's not anything alcoholic, then what is the most traditionally paired alcoholic beverage with sushi?
by rsxguy04  

Re: traditional drink with sushi 2014/3/19 22:53
I am a Japanese.
He is poor at English.

Three prominent high-class kinds of white wine, Chardonnay, Riesling, and all are suited.

by mituhiko asami rate this post as useful

Re: traditional drink with sushi 2014/3/19 23:00
Let me get this straight. When we say "sushi" it usually refers to a dish of seasoned rice topped with seafood.

Now, in Japan, you don't generally eat any kind of rice or soup when you drink alcohol, be it sake, beer, whiskey or cocktails.

When you drink, you eat things like sashimi or other fish, meat and vegetables. Oh, you don't eat fruits either.

And then, when you're done with the drinking, you finish your meal with rice and soup. At a sushi bar, you'd usually eat nigiri instead of a bowl of plain rice. And then you might have fruits for dessert.

I'm not sure if it's because it's "rice with rice." Rice plainly doesn't go good with alcohol (and neither does soup).

So to answer your question, when you want to drink at a sushi bar, you order some sashimi. The traditional alcohol would be sake (nihonshu) because we didn't have beer until the 19th century. But I do think nihonshu goes better with sashimi than shochu.

You can ask for sake recommendations. There are sake that goes good cold and there are others that are better warm.

I think it's universal, though, that the worst thing you can do is to pretend you know everything. Be modest and rely on the ita-san to recommend you the alcohol of his choice. In that sense, it's not wise for people to pretend you can drink a lot of sake when you get pretty drunk with a couple of beers. A lot of Japanese aren't true heavy drinkers, so they just order beer so they can watch out for themselves.

And then when you've had enough, you can order some nigiri and your free cups of tea. Then the ita-san might recommend you the misoshiru of the day.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: traditional drink with sushi 2014/3/19 23:08
I forgot to add.

Most people in Japan tend to have a glass of beer first before moving on to anything else. So as you say, yes, especially when you're with others, it's natural to order beer as your first drink.

Many people here seem to think that beer is perfect for quenching your thirst and starting your meal with bubbles does always sound cheery (while champagne is too expensive). I guess it also is a good way to express that you're not a snob.

But there are many drinkers who plainly don't like beer (like me). Some might have the guts to let sake be his/her first alcoholic beverage of the night (like me). In this case, you are usually responded with astonishment. But as long as you can handle yourself, there shouldn't be a problem.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: traditional drink with sushi 2014/4/5 04:42
hi, rsxguy

-what traditionally is drunken with sushi, especially at a high end restaurant in say Ginza?

I think this is a meanles question.
Nigiri sushi was born and established as a street food in Edo era, therefore there was no highend sushi restaurant traditionally.
of course few highend sushi restaurant could be exist, but they were rare case.

and in such street food restaurant, they prefer non alcohol drink than alcohol drink.

then my answer is,
green tea is drunken with nigiri sushi traditionally.
by coffee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: traditional drink with sushi 2014/5/25 02:21
Sorry I for got to reply, thanks for the replies, especially Uco for the detailed information!
by rsxguy04 rate this post as useful

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