Give any culture enough time, and it'll figure out how to distill or ferment something. The Russians are as good with potatoes as the Italians are with grapes. And the Japanese got their drink on with rice. Sake is all too frequently called “rice wine,” but turning a starch into alcohol is nothing like the fermentation of grapes. Learn the process and give the final product a taste. Good sake runs about 30 proof, and is served slightly warmed.