Welcome to the BSA Website

Thanks for visiting the British Sake Association Website. We started back in 2006, with the express purpose of engaging the British public with Sake, the national drink of Japan.

On this page you will find our blog feed of regular news. Please navigate to the drop-down menus above to find more information about upcoming events, membership, FAQs and other sake related info.

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Make Your Own Sake: Special Christmas Event

Make Your Own Sake with Marie Cheong-Thong of The Larder At 36.  Following her recent success at the Abergavenny Food Festival, this will be a very special evening featuring Marie’s popular workshop.  Marie will demonstrate how to make a basic sake, simple doburoku, from an old “handed down” secret family recipe – which almost certainly originated in China before eventually finding its way to Japan. More details here:

BSA_Special Christmas Event_2015

Tuesday 1st December 2015 7.00pm to 8.30 pm,

Cost: £35 per person  * to include a basic sake kit value £6


Please book with the British Sake Association, not the venue: events@britishsakeassociation.org


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Sake : from the front line


Special illustrated talk by
Oliver Hilton-Johnson of Tengu Sake

Ollie, who is also sake educator for the British Sake Association, has recently returned from Japan where he spent several weeks making sake alongside the Japanese brewers of Hayashi Honten, amongst other sake-related adventures.

Ollie will talk about some of the surprising and fascinating things he learnt on the front line of sake brewing; and we’ll be tasting some interesting (and different) sake Ollie brought back from Kyushu. Delicious yakitori and nibbles prepared by Eico Kano at Mogu Mogu will complete the evening.

Date : Wednesday 29th April 2015

Venue: Royal Asiatic Society
14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD
Tel: 020 7388 4539

Time: 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: £25 for BSA members; £30 non-members and guests

Places are limited and must be booked in advance

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An Introduction to Sake & An Exploration of Sakes and Japanese Cuisine


By Special Invitation of Shirley Booth and the British Sake Association, in association with Japan Rice Export (JRE) and MATSURI Restaurant

you are invited to attend


Friday 27th February at Matsuri restaurant, Bury Street, W1

at 4pm:

An Introduction to Sake: How it is made and its place in traditional Japanese culture

An illustrated talk by Shirley Booth


at 6pm

An Exploration of Sakes and Japanese Cuisine

about a dozen different sakes from three different kura will be available to try with a selection of Matsuri’s exceptional Japanese Food. With such a wide range of sake to explore this proves to be a lively and educational evening.

If you are new to sake this will be an excellent chance to find out how well sake enhances the flavours of food: if you already know a bit about sake then this will be a chance to further your knowledge of particular sakes, and food pairings.

Entry to both events is free, but booking must be made by Friday 20th February 2015


Places are limited, so early booking is advisable

You are welcome to attend either event or both, but please indicate when booking, First come first served, deadline Monday 23rd February.

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BSA membership form 2015

The 2015 membership form for the British Sake Association is now online.

Membership fees remain the same.

Please click on the link below:

BSA Membership Form 2015

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United Ramen and Sake Dinner

gyoza united ramenUnited Ramen logo

Another first for British Sake Association members

The first event of the year was a successful Sake and Ramen Dinner, held at the end of January, at the recently-opened United Ramen in Islington. The weather didn’t disappoint: it was a distinctly chilly and wintery night – perfect for bowls of warming ramen noodles.

Once again BSA members and their guests were able to enjoy some innovative sake and food pairings and learn more about different sakes and how they taste, all in the enjoyable company of fellow sake enthusiasts – and, as usual, priced competitively.

The sakes were introduced and presented by Asami Tasaka from World Sake who did a sterling job whilst struggling with a lost voice and recovering from a sore throat. Her most important work though had already been done beforehand – choosing the sakes and pairing them with the food. And this she did magnificently.

Aaron Resch from United Ramen laid on a generous feast, and willingly catered for the vegetarians amongst us. We started with spiced edamame, which was paired with Dewazakura’s Oka Ginjo, sometimes seen as the signature sake of World Sake, which was served chilled. Next came delicious light and tasty handmade pork gyoza: these were described by Giles Coren as gyoza to ‘make your day’, and indeed they were, especially when paired with Kamoizumi Shusen- a junmai sake served at room temperature.

The generous and uber-tasty Asian BBQ pork ribs (modestly described as a ‘side dish’) were then served alongside Sentoku Bessen, a remarkable futsushu from Gunma prefecture.

The main course – a huge bowl of ramen – was paired with the Shusen again. But this time served warm, which seemed to really bring out the woodsy, mushroomy aromas of this junmai from Hiroshima. It’s always fascinating to taste the same sake at different temperatures (and of course alongside different foods too). Something you can try at home.

Finally we were treated to a sumptuous dessert of two mochi ice creams, with fillings of yuzu, and mango. Delicious on their own, the flavours were only enhanced by the Kamoizumu komekome ‘Happy Bride’; – a low alcohol and mildy sweet sake, rich in amino acids and described as Riesling-like, again from Hiroshima.

After short words of thanks we all left vowing to come back for more ramen, and to avail ourselves of February’s Two for One offer. http://www.unitedramen.com

Save The Date: our next event, in time for Easter and, for those in the know, for White Day, will be A Sake and Chocolate Pairing

Led by Oliver Hilton Johnson of Tengu Sake and Chocolatier Chika Watanabe

Monday 9th March at Tombo. Details to follow



(Photos used with thanks – all rights reserved – United Ramen, UnitedRamen.com)

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Learn the Basics with Ozeki – event review

ozeki one cup 50 yrs

Special commemorative coaster!

This year marks fifty years since Ozeki launched its famous ‘One Cup’, back in 1964.  To mark this historic occasion Ozeki sponsored a tasting with The British Sake Association in London on 17th November. Held at the newly-refurbished Tombo Café and Deli in South Kensington, the event was oversubscribed, with 30 attendees.

Some attendees were fairly new to sake, and others more familiar; but even the regulars members, who have been to events before, found it very useful to have a re-cap on the main categories.

Presented by Sarah Wedgbury from JFC guests were treated to a taste of eight different sake, under the heading ‘Learn The Basics’ .

Tasting began with a low alcohol sparkling sake, and moved on to a daiginjo,  junmai, tokubetsu junmai, honjozo and of course One Cup, a futsu shu, before finishing with a taruzake.

Tombo’s kitchen prepared generous and delicious otsumame: guided by advice from Sarah each dish was prepared to match the sake.  However, the last sake, the taruzake, was daringly matched with chocolate – filled with a divine matcha-flavoured ganache – and made by the talented London-based chocolatier Chika Watanabe. www.chikawatanabe.com

Future Events
Future events in the pipeline include: In January at United Ramen in IslngtonWarm Sake and Hot Ramen – perfect for warming you up in the chilly days after Christmas; then in February, in time for Valentines Day, Chocolate and Sparkling Sake. Details to follow.

 The Association is always happy to hear from breweries or importers who would like to sponsor an event – our aim is to educate the consumer, with as wide a range of tastes as possible.  

 Shirley Booth – President, British Sake Association

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Upcoming event: Learn the basics with Ozeki

An Introduction to Sake – 17/11/14


Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Ozeki’s iconic One Cup sake with Ozeki at the newly-refurbished Tombo.  There will be eight sake for you to sup ranging across all grades, from Futsushu (the most regularly consumed style in Japan) to the more elegant and aromatic Daiginjo, while enjoying a selection of Tombo’s delicious fare.

Whether you are a sake novice or a sake enthusiast, this is a great opportunity for you to learn more about sake.

Sake courtesy of Ozeki


Location: Tombo, 29 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2HQ
Date: Monday 17th November
Time: 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Price: £28 members / £33 non-members.  Price includes sake and Tombo’s home cooked nibbles.  All welcome.
Book now by emailing events@britishsakeassociation.org

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