Sake, also spelled saké, or rice wine, is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the brand. Unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in fruit, typically grapes, sake is produced by a brewing process more alike that of beer, where starch is converted into sugars which ferment into alcohol.
The brewing process for sake differs from the process for beer, as for beer, the conversion from sugar to alcohol and starch to sugar occurs in two distinct steps. When sake is brewed, these conversions occur simultaneously.
In Japan, where it is the national beverage, sake is often served with special ceremony, warmed in a small porcelain bottle, and drunk from a small porcelain cup called a sakazuki.