280178953_96d0eacdb8_zSimilar to the craft beer trend, sake has become a growing niche market where consumers – specifically millennials are looking for sakes that are high-quality. According to Impact Databank, sake consumption in the United States increased to 3.9 percent to 2.2 million cases in 2013.

Sake growth is also branching outside of traditional Japanese food like sushi and ramen restaurants, and so are pricier variations. In restaurants across the country sakes easily go upwards to $210 for a 720-ml bottle.

If you’ve only tried sake bombs (a beer cocktail where you drop hot sake into a glass of beer) then I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and give sake a try. Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Kurosawa Kim15118924673_1ee2a9f914_zoto Junmai: This full-bodied sake can be served chilled or warmed. It’s floral and fruity aroma mixes apple cobbler, green apple and dried honey.
  2. Hakkaisan Tokubestu Junmai: Looking for a sake that is clean, dry and pristine? Then look no further. Fine local water is a key ingredient in this sake, which comes from melted snow and filtered water at Mount Hakkai.
  3. Shirakawago Sasanigori: Taking it up a notch, this delicate unfiltered sake is textured and complex.
  4. Funaguchi Nama: What’s cool about this sake is that it’s served in a can. Thick textured and sweet the Funaguchi is unpasteurized and unprocessed. Bonus: it has an alcohol content of 19 percent which is at higher end of the 15 to 20 percent ABV range.

Sake can seem a little intimidating when you’re first trying to figure out the differences.But couldn’t that be said for your first venture into to trying wine or beer?

It just takes a little bit of curiosity and the desire to experiment. Plus, for those who are health-conscious sake is gluten  and sulfite-free!