Ask An Herbalist: Can Sake be used to make tinctures?

Nabil asks,



Dear sir,

Can Sake be used to make herbal tinctures and extracts?
Kind regards



Hello Nabil, 

Just to say i am a Mam not a Sir 😉 

So most sake is only 40 poof meaning it's roughly only 20% alcohol. So while you could make a tincture with this it would be a rather weak one at best.

However if you could find sake that is 100 proof meaning 50% alcohol 50% water it would make a well balanced tincture that not only would contain a good balance of extractions of both water/alcohol properties of the plant but ready to use as soon as it's done being decanted.


Which is the appeal to using 100 proof vodka for tincture making. Also when the alcohol we use is clear it has more "room" to extract with.


Meaning almost all liquor starts out clear and it then becomes colored by placing it in various storage containers such as wooden barrels, the alcohol then tinctures the wood. So when we use it to make a tincture it has already been tinctured and simply can't extract as much from the plant.  

80 proof is the next best thing to use. 

If vodka is not available to you in your area perhaps Schochu is. Which from what I have read is basically vodka made with a type of sweet potato and it's average proof is 80-100 so it would work well.

With all of this being said you can at the end of the day use sake. If it has a low alcohol content just be sure to let it set for 3-5 months versus 1-2 months.  

I hope some of this was helpful! 

Kindest Regards, 


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