The Korea Herald


[Video] A guide through South Korean's favorite tipple: Makgeolli

By Park Jun-hee

Published : Dec. 14, 2020 - 18:33

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Fancying a glass of craft beer and wine in the hippest vicinity was the vogue among the younger generations in recent years. Yet, traditional Korean liquors are permeating through the market, as makgeolli has become the latest taste.

The nation's oldest spirit has been brewed with tradition, history and local ingredients for nearly 2,000 years. Traditional Korean drinks are made from rice, a staple food for Koreans. The liquor is also cooked with water, yeast and nuruk, an old-fashioned Korean fermentation starter to break down the rice to produce alcohol. The drink is presented after fermenting for some time.

The beverage might seem murky due to its opaque appearance, but the sweetness will gradually percolate into your taste buds. After enjoying the scent, the drink and rice sediment will slowly glide down your throat. The tangy yet mild clean-tasting drink pairs wonderfully with all traditional dishes but most perfectly with flavorful foods like jeon.

Contrary to what many may think, the quaff is abundant in flavor without a hint of additives. It has complex flavor profiles, ranging from sweet to fruity. The liquor also generally has an alcohol by volume content of 6 to 9 percent, making it easier to savor the flavor. Please check out the video if you wish to virtually experience different types of the traditional booze. 

Video script and article by Park Jun-hee (
Video shot and edited by Ju Young-eun (