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     Traditional Liquors & Wines

Traditional Liquors and Wines

Traditional Korean drinks are made chiefly from rice, sweet potatoes and other grains, usually along with kneaded wheat malt. They are classified according to purity, percentage of alcohol contained, whether or not distilled, and materials used. There are largely five types: yakju (refined pure liquor fermented from rice), soju (distilled liquor), takju (thick, unrefined liquor fermented from grains), fruit wines, and medicinal wines from various seeds and roots. Each type has dozens of varieties. The famous cheongju is a yakju and the popular makgeolli is a takju. Acacia, maesil plums, Chinese quinces, cherries, pine fruits, and pomegranates are some popular ingledients in fruit wines. Insamju is a representative example of medicinal wine, made from ginseng.



> Cheongju
Well-known examples of cheongju are beopju, sogokju and baekaju.

> Makgeolli and Dongdongju
A milky liquor with low alcohol content, this traditional commoner's beverage is enjoyed by farmers and laborers, but by business people as well. They are served at drinking houses around universities, at festivals, picnic areas, or anywhere people might enjoy a mild drink with a fermented flavor.

> Soju
Comparable to vodka but less potent, soju is the most popular traditional Korean liquor among the general public. Soju was originally brewed from grains; today it is mass-produced mainly from sweet potatoes.

> Munbaeju
This distilled liquor is brewed from wheat, millet and Indian millet. It is given the scent and flavor of the crab apple, which is called munbae. Its brewing skill is designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Property by the Korean government along with that of dugyeonju (azalea wine) from Myeoncheon, Dangjin-gun, Chungcheongnam-do and Gyodong Beopju from Gyeongju.