Extra! Korea

May 19, 2009

Would you like a strawberry-flavored rice beer cocktail?

Filed under: drinking — extrakorea @ 1:23 pm

The Joongang Daily and Korea Herald have articles about makgeolli. Makgeolli is usually translated as “rice wine,” but, like Andrew Salmon, I think it’s more accurate to call it “rice beer,” since wines are made from fruit juices and beers are made from grains.

In order to appeal more to women, some drinking houses and retail markets have begun to offer fruit-flavored makgeolli and makgeolli cocktails. Flavors include strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, Japanese apricot, grape, raspberry, mulberry and pear. They cost about 20% more, which means approximately 1,200 won instead of 1,000 won. Before the current economic downturn, that basically amounted to 20 cents. Oooh, that’s really going to hurt in the pocketbook.

In my view, they would do well to try promoting dong-dong-ju. (The Home Plus near my home used to sell it, but not anymore.) It’s similar to makgeolli, but tastes noticeably better. I’ve asked many people what, exactly, the difference between dong-dong-ju and makgeolli is, but no one has been able to give me an adequate answer.

You can read a good article about some of the different kinds of Korean liquors here.


  1. The most recent difference I’ve heard is that dong dong ju is from the top of the barrel and makgeolli from the bottom. Everyone has a different response.

    Comment by ZenKimchi — May 20, 2009 @ 1:59 am

    • I’ve heard that, too. It seems to be similar to the difference between milk and cream.

      Comment by extrakorea — May 20, 2009 @ 6:27 am

  2. dongdongju is always made from rice, whereas makgeolli *used* to be made from any grain (at least, that’s how fatman understands it). however, milled rice being more uniformly available has lead to a convergence of flavors. well-made dongdongju will generally have a clearer appearance and more refined taste, but the differences are mostly minimal now. what’s more important is finding places where they’re locally produced, since freshness is a major factor in how both drinks taste.

    Comment by FatManSeoul — May 27, 2009 @ 8:11 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: