Hwachae (Korean traditional fruit punch)

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 18, 2014 - 20:18
  • Updated : Jul 18, 2014 - 20:18

Hwachae (Korean traditional fruit punch) (Korean Bapsang)
Hwachae is a Korean traditional fruit punch, which is made with various fruits and sweet drinks. There are many variations, and some are even made with edible flower petals or grains such as barley or rice cakes. Traditionally, the base drink is water sweetened with honey, syrup or sugar. These days, carbonated drinks and fruit juices are also commonly used. Hwachae made with watermelon (subak) is a summer favorite. I made it here with ginger ale, but any clear carbonated drink works well. I also added a little bit of drinking vinegar made with black raspberries (bokbunja) to add color, acidity and, of course, another layer of flavor. You can use pomegranate or cranberry juice as a substitute. Add any other fruit you like. I added some deliciously ripe honeydew. If you want to make it really fancy, add some rice cake balls, which aren’t hard to make. Play around with different fruits and drinks, and enjoy hwachae this summer. It’s easy, refreshing and full of summer flavor!

4 servings


● about 2 cups watermelon, balled or cubed
● about 1 1/2 cups honeydew, balled or cubed
● 2 cups ginger ale
● 3 tablespoons Korean drinking vinegar (or pomegranate or cranberry juice)
● pine nuts for garnish ― optional

12-16 rice cake balls (gyeongdan) ― optional (Recipe follows.)

Make the optional rice cake balls as shown below.

Scoop out watermelon and honeydew with a melon-baller. (Or, cut into about bite size cubes.) Place them in a large bowl along with any juice from the fruit.

Add the ginger ale and the drinking vinegar (or pomegranate or cranberry juice) to the fruits. Stir gently. Taste the drink and adjust acidity or sweetness by adding more drinking vinegar (or juice) or sugar.

Simple rice cake balls:

● 1/2 cup sweet/glutinous rice powder, chapssal garu
● 2 teaspoons sugar
● pinch of salt
● 4 tablespoons boiling hot water

Mix the rice powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix in the boiling hot water with a spoon. When cool enough to handle, knead by hand until a dough is formed.

Shape the dough into a 2-centimeter thick cylinder. Cut into (or pinch off) about 2-centimeter pieces. Roll each piece between the palms to make a small ball.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the rice cake balls. Cook until all the balls float. Transfer to a large bowl with cold water to cool. Drain. 

By Ro Hyo-sun

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