While watching Channel News Asia’s “A Taste of Asia” last month, I remember they had a feature on a Korean drink which is a hit among young Koreans, and the drink is called Makgeolli.
But what exactly is Makgeolli?
Makgeolli is a traditional alcoholic beverage and is said to be the oldest liquor in Korea. It is made from rice, thus it is also referred to as Korean rice wine. It is korean’s version of the Japanese sake, the Philippines tapuy, and Thailand’s sato. Since it is made from rice, it has a milky, off-white color and sweetness.
A popular drink since the Joseon Dynasty but saw its popularity dwindle due to its replacement by soju, beer and wine. However, since 2005, a new version of Makgeolli called the Makgeolli cocktail has been introduced and is responsible for the revival of the drink and, is also turning out to be a hit among young Koreans. Makgeolli cocktail is makgeolli added with fruits such as kiwi, peach, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and, now they even mix it with ginseng.
Makgeolli is also a health drink, because of its low alcoholic content, around 6%, it does not harm the body and it is said to relieve stress. And because of the yeast and lactobacillus microorganisms that are produced during the fermentation process, it is said to contain anti-cancer agents.