Many people outside of Japan call Japanese rice wine “Sake”…often mispronouncing the word as “sah-key“.
But actually 「酒」 (Sake) is pronounced as “sah-keh“, or more politely 「お酒」 (O-sake) and it’s the Japanese word for alcohol in general.
“Japanese rice wine” is called 「日本酒」 (“Nihon-shu”), literally “Japanese alcohol”.
There are other Japanese traditional alcoholic drinks that aren’t as famous outside of Japan.
Do you know 「焼酎」 (Shou-chuu)?
「焼酎」 (Shou-chuu) looks similar to 「日本酒」 (“Japanese rice wine”), but it has more alcohol per volume and a “harder” taste.
It’s usually brewed from potato.
Because of the high alcohol content and hard taste of 「焼酎」 (Shou-chuu), people usually mix it with water or fruit juice.
When it’s mixed with fruit juice, the drink is called 「酎ハイ」 (“Chuu-Hi“). The name comes from “Shou-chuu” + “High-ball” mixed drink.
Have you ever tried any of these drinks?