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Richie Hawtin Wants You to Ditch Vodka and Tequila for Sake in the Club

He makes a case for the benefits of the Japanese rice wine in a recent interview.
Photo by Alex de Brabant

Canadian electronic musician Richie Hawtin has a lot of enthusiasm about the potential benefits of sake for clubbing. In an interview with The Japan Times published Friday, he details how he came to love the Japanese rice wine so much, and how he's come to incorporate it into his profession as a DJ and entrepreneur.

"Coming from a club perspective, highly distilled spirits like vodka and tequila are fast, and then they tail off quick," he said. "Electronic music events often go longer than a typical bar or club, and sake—with its purity, and balance of amino acids and alcohol—is a drink that you can enjoy over a longer period."


Hawtin first started trying premium sake in the late 90s, and took his first tasting sake class in 2008. By 2012, he had taken his love of the drink and launched ENTER.Sake bar in Ibiza, and he has since brought pop-up editions to Europe, the United States, and Japan. He has partnered with premium sake breweries across Japan for the event series, and curates the collection of drinks on hand himself.

"There's a certain purity," he said. "It's hypnotic. It works. Sake always brings people together. Like sitting at a table and pouring for each other, it's very social—certain other stimulants aren't very social. It's much more extroverted than introverted."

Hawtin is a true renaissance man; 2016 saw him create a sound installation for a photography exhibition and create a much talked-about new mixer for DJs.

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