酒 Sake : Drink related lesson Part 1



= Toriaezu biiru!

= “I will have a beer to start with!”

Today’s lesson is about “drinking”!! There are two parts. In Part 1, I will focus on these two kanjis first!




(  = sake) alcoholic drink

*お酒( = osake) more polite

* 酒屋  ( = sakaya) a liquor shop

*日本酒 ( = nihonshu) : Japanese liquor, sake (saki) , rice wine

*洋酒  ( = youshu) : western liquor


  nomu / in

ワインを飲む。( = Wain wo nomu) to drink wine

• 彼女は飲みっぷりがいい。

=Kanojo wa nomippuri ga ii.

=  (She can hold her alcohol. ) She gulps down the drink.

試飲  ( = shiin) tasting

Ex. ワインの試飲 ( = wain no shiin) wine tasting

飲食 ( = inshoku) drinking and eating


= Hitokuchi nomimasen ka?

=Would you like a sip?


= Osake wo nomisugiru.

to drink too much (alcohol)

• 薬を飲む (=Kusuri wo nomu.)

to take medicine

• 飲み物  ( = nomimono) beverage

:kkk:  酒  ( = sake) related expressions

• 酒に溺れる  ( = sake ni oboreru)   get oneself addicted to drinking, to indulge oneself with alcoholic liquor

Ex. 彼は妻を亡くしてから酒に溺れた生活をしている。

= Kare wa tsuma wo nakushite kara sake ni oboreta seikatsu wo shiteiru.

Ever since he lost his wife, he has been indulging himself in alcoholic liquor.

• 酒に浸る ( = sake ni hitaru) to be soaked in drink

  • 酒浸り ( = sake bitari) on a bender

Ex. 酒浸りの生活  ( = sake bitari no setikatsu) life on a bender

(お)酒に強い(  =(o)sake ni tsuyoi)  can hold one’s liquor well

(お)酒に弱い ( = (o)sake ni yowai) cannot hold one’s liquor

大酒飲み ( = oozake nomi ) a heavy drinker

Note : We also say うわばみ   ( = uwabami), a big snake, or ざる ( = zaru), a strainer to describe a person who drinks a lot.

Ex. 彼はうわばみの様に飲む。

= Kare wa uwabami no you ni nomu.

He drinks like a fish.

Ex. 彼はざるだ。

= Kare wa zaru da.

He is a heavy drinker

• 酒癖が悪い ( = sake guse ga warui. )  to have a drinking problem. (to get wild and crazy when you are drunk.)


= “Maggie wa sakeguse ga warui kara anmari nomasenai hou ga iiyo.

= “Maggie gets crazy when she’s drunk so you’d better not let her drink.”

酒乱  ( = shuran)  drunken frenzy


= Anohito wa shuran da. 


=Anohito wa nomu to abareru.

=He/She is a bad drunk.


= Anohito wa nomu to tachi ga warui.

=He/She  gets really bad (crazy) when he is drunk.

• 酒をやめる ( = sake wo yameru) to quit drinking

• 酒を断つ  ( = sake wo tatsu) to be through with alcohol

• 禁酒する  ( = kinshu suru) abstain from alcohol

• 深酒をする ( = fukazake wo suru) to drink heavily

• 迎え酒  ( = mukae zake) hair of the dog

Ex. 迎え酒を飲む  

 = mukae zake wo nomu

 to have a/the hair of the dog that bit you (or someone)

• はしご酒   ( = hashigo zake) bar-hopping

Ex. 「はしごする?

=”Hashigo suru?”

“You wanna go bar hopping?”

Note : The literal meaning of    はしご(梯子) ( = hashigo)is ”ladder”.

<How to serve Sake>

Have you ever tried 日本酒  ( = nihonshu) sake, Japanese rice wine?

They are usually served with (お)銚子  ( = (o)choushi) a cup for Sake & 徳利 ( =tokkuri) sake bottle

Or 升 / ます= masu = small square wooden box

• 燗  ( =kan ) warmed sake

Ex. 燗をつける  ( = kan wo tsukeru) to warm up sake

• 熱燗  ( = atsukan) warmed sake (hot)

Ex.  熱燗でお願いします。

=Atsukan de onegai shimasu.

Please give me warmed-up sake.

• 冷  ( = hiya) or    冷や酒  ( = hiya zake) chilled sake

• ぬる燗  ( = nurukan) lukewarm sake

📝 Culture note: It is considered to be a bit rude if you don’t realize when the glass of someone you are drinking with is empty. It is customary to refill their glass when it gets empty. If you notice somebody is pouring for themselves, you should apologize and say,


=”Ki ga tsukanakute gomennasai.

“Sorry that I didn’t pay attention to you.



= Tejaku sasete gomennasai.

“Sorry that you I made you serve yourself..”

If nobody fills your empty glass, you say


=”Tejaku de shitsurei shimasu.

Sorry that I served it myself.

We think serving your own sake doesn’t look so good unless you drink alone.

If someone pours alcohol into your own glass, it is considered polite to take at least a sip (even if you don’t really drink).


=”Soredewa hitokuchi dake (itadakimasu.)  

OK, then I will have just a sip.

If you really not not want to drink, you can say:


=”Sumimasen, osake wa nomemasen.

Sorry, I don’t drink.

If you answer this way, you may then be asked if you “don’t drink” or you “can’t drink“?

「飲めないの? それか飲みたくないの?

=”Nomenai no? Soreka nomitakunai no?

Is it that you can’t drink, or you don’t want to drink?

<Dry? Sweet?>   :kanpai1: 

• 辛口  ( = karakuchi) dry

Ex. 辛口の酒   ( = karakuchi no sake)   dry sake

• 中辛  ( = chuukara) half dry

• 甘口  ( = amakuchi) sweet

• ウイスキー ( = wuisukii)  whiskey

• ワイン  ( = wain)赤ワイン ( = aka wain )  red wine白ワイン ( = shiro wain ) white wineロゼ  ( = roze) rose wineハウスワイン ( = hausu wain ) house wine

• ビール ( = biiru) beer   🍻


= Toriaezu biiru

=  “A beer to start with!”

This is a typical phrase for those who want to have a beer to start with. Since it is so common, by just saying

「取りあえず..」 ( = Toriaezu)

everybody around you would say

ビール!」( = biiru)

ジョッキ ( = jokki) beer mug

ピッチャー  ( = picchaa) pitcher

生ビール ( = nama biiru) tap beer, draft beer

Note :生ビール  ( = nama biiru) is sometimes simply called as “生”  ( = nama) and if it is served in 中ジョッキ  ( = chuu jokki) a middle-sized mug , we call it 生中 ( = namachuu)


= Namachuu hitotsu onegai shimasu. 

A middle size mug of tap beer, please!”

発泡酒  ( = happoushu) sparkling liquor, low-malt beer

シャンパン  ( = shanpan) or シャンペン ( = shanpen) champagne

焼酎  ( = shouchu ) distilled beverage made from sweet potatoes, rice, or barley

チューハイ(酎ハイ )( = chuuhai) shochu with carbonated water

カクテル ( = kakuteru) cocktail

1杯  (  = ippai)   a glass of ~

Ex. 「今日、どう? 一杯やる?

= Kyou dou? Ippai yaru?

“Do you wanna have a drink today?

Ex. 軽く一杯ひっかける

= Karuku ippai hikkakeru.

to have a quick drink

Ex. 「もう一杯同じものを下さい。

= Mouippai onaji mono wo kudasai.

“May I have another round?”

1本一本  ( = ippon)  a bottle of

Ex. 「ワインを一本下さい。

= Wain wo ipppon kudasai.

“Could I have a bottle of wine, please?”

ちゃんぽんにする  ( = chanpon ni suru.) to mix one’s drinks


= Chanpon ni suruto yoiyasui.

You get drunk easily when you mix your drinks.

「乾杯!( = Kanpai!) “Cheers!”


= kanpai suru

to make a toast


= kanpai no ondo wo toru.

= to give a toast


  = Dare ga kanpai no ondo wo toru no?

=  “Who’s going to give a toast?”

ボトルキープ  ( = botoru kiipu) to start a bottle

📝Culture Note: Some Japanese bars keep bottles of whisky or liquor in the shelves for frequent customers. Once you pay for the whole bottle, they put your name tag on the bottle, and the next time you come to the bar, you just tell them your name and they will bring that bottle to the table and they don’t charge for the drink except ice or mineral water, etc.

<Other drinking related words >

• 飲み放題

= nomihoudai


Ex. 食べ放題



• 一気飲み  ( =  ikki nomi) to drink up something in one shot.


= Ikki, ikki!

= “Chug it! Chug it!”

Note: 一気飲み ( = ikki nomi) has been very popular especially among college students and 先輩  ( = senpai) senior students tend to force their 後輩  ( = kouhai) junior students to drink a whole mug of beer or sake at one gulp in their welcome party, and sometimes it causes 急性アルコール中毒( = kyuusei arukooru chuudoku) acute alcoholic intoxication. Since some college students died due to 一気飲み ( = ikki nomi) many universities have banned it for safety reasons.

無礼講  ( = bureikou)   No formality, regardless of rank or seniority


= Kyou wa bureikou nanode tanoshiku nomimashou!

= “Let’s have fun and drink casually (without being concerned about who is superior and inferior).”

• アルコール  ( = arukooru) alcohol

• アルコール度数  ( = arukooru dosuu)  percentage of alcohol


= Uokka wa arukooru do ga takai. 

=  Vodka is high in alcohol

ロック  ( = rokku) on the rocks


= Rokku de onegai shimasu. 

 On the rocks, please!”

• 水割り ( = mizuwari) with water

• おつまみ  ( = otsumami) snacks for a drink, appetizer

• 酒の肴  ( = sake no sakana) a dish eaten with sake.

(Sometimes some juicy topics while you are drinking are also called  酒の肴  ( = sake no sakana)

frenchbulldog マギー先生より = Maggie-sensei yori =  From Maggie-sensei


= Mina no sukina osake wa nani?

What’s your poison?” (What do you drink?)



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