British Sake Association

Guild member Shirley Booth shares some news about the British Sake Association, which she runs together with, recently joined, fellow Guild Member Marie Cheong-Thong. 


After a hiatus of twenty months we held a real live Grand Sake Tasting in October, in Putney, London. This event saw almost a hundred fans of Japan and Japanese sake gather in the elegant and spacious hall of St Mary’s Church in Putney. Over eighty different sakes were on offer – with guests pouring and tasting freely; chef Issa at Putney Pantry provided perfectly executed and delicious small bowls of food to accompany; and several stalls offered Japanese related products, including Wagyu beef from MeatMeAtHome; Green Tea from Marulin; Wine from The Pure Wine Guide; organic sea vegetables and snacks from Clearspring; and fresh wasabi and yuzu from The Wasabi Company. All of these sponsors, as well as the sake importers, donated prizes for a raffle, which raised almost £500 for charity. 


The British Sake Association’s next event will be on 7 December at So restaurant in Aldgate. Each year the association’s annual dinner has a theme, and this year it is celebrating Japanese ceramics, in particular The Leach pottery at St Ives, and its connection to Mashiko, the famous pottery town in Japan. It is a hundred years since the renowned potters Bernard Leach and the Japanese studio potter Shoji Hamada, set up their studio in England, marking the start of a friendship between the two towns which is still strong today. At the dinner Shokado Bento food will be served alongside carefully selected sakes, and the dinner will finish with a festive cheese course, including a vegan ‘cheese’ made from sake lees; and Shirley’s own mostarda di Venezia.


Guests will be encouraged to bring their own studio pottery sake cup as we celebrate the links between East and West. Booking is open to all but places are limited.


The British Sake Association runs events throughout the year; membership gives priority booking and reduced rates to events, and the opportunity to learn about sake, meet the sake brewers, and others in the sake world, and of course taste a huge variety of sake (and increasingly shochu and other Japanese spirits).


For more information see our website