Move Over Sake; Pair These 6 Drinks With Your Next Sushi Meal
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The classic combination of sushi and sake has now become the norm in most restaurants that offer an authentic Japanese dining experience; and while this pairing is perfectly fine the way it is, there are some other drinks like non-alcoholic teas or flavoured waters that also pair really well with the mild flavour profile of sushi. The next time you go out for sushi dinner, opt for one of these drinks for a bit of an inventive take on a classic pairing and make your meal adventurous and fun.

Green Tea

The warmth of a good quality green tea is a wonderful palate cleanser in between mouthfuls of sushi. The distinct taste and soothing temperature also complement rather than overpowers the overall profile of the dish. Green tea preserves the delicate flavourings of a good sushi roll without drowning out its taste, enhancing the overall experience of gorging on this Japanese staple.

Japanese Beer

Japanese froths like Asahi or Kirin are refreshing alternatives to sake when you want to enjoy a drink with your sushi. These Japanese beer variants are good options for highlighting the sweet, delicate notes of fish without overshadowing their flavours. Light beers are good to pair with sushi because their subtle bitter notes are ideal to enhance the soft flavours of seafood.


Any type of sparkling wine would complement a sushi meal, but a good bubbly adds that extra dose of effervescence to the meal. Like good Riesling, champagne too is quite a potent vehicle to bring out the briny flavours in the seafood. Opt for a high quality bottle of champagne to pair with a shrimp or crab meat sushi as a way of bringing out the sweetness of the crustaceans.

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German Riesling

There are certain sushi rolls that are made with a hint of spice and a good bottle of Riesling is an ideal pairing for when you want to drink wine. Pair a German Riesling packed with sweetness and acidity to counteract the spiciness of sushi rolls made using mayonnaise and sriracha. The drink also acts as a palate cleanser because of its fruity notes which balance the strong zing of wasabi or raw ginger.


The transparent Korean alcoholic beverage, similar to vodka, has a crisper taste and a cleaner aftertaste, making for an interesting accompaniment with a platter of sushi rolls. Pair a small cup of soju with tuna or salmon sushi to bring about a balance in flavours and enjoy the mild profiles of the beverage coupled with the subtle yet zesty textures of the sushi.

Citrus Water

Sushi is often paired with drinks that are high in acidity in order to highlight the sweet flavours of the fish rolled with nori and rice. Introduce this acidity and zest into a Japanese-themed meal  by serving citrus infused water that has lemon or orange slices.