Drinks typical of Korea Drinks are important but in Korea they have a special meaning. Korean drinks are taken depending on the moment. Koreans, depending on each age, usually drink different Korean drinks. Unlike in Japan , which is frowned upon by people drinking while walking, in the summer Koreans always go with their drinks in hand on the street: slushies , coffees , teas .
The history of soju dates back to 1300 AD to the city of Kaesong where the production of the drink for sale began. During the Meiji period , a shortage of rice prompted the government to issue a provision ordering to reduce the consumption of rice, Asians’ main food, in soju production. This forced producers to use pure ethanol , which was added to the mix to create a dilute form of soju, plus alcohol.and less rice. Despite the current availability of rice, and without crisis due to its lack, some manufacturers continue with this modality of more alcohol than rice. Coffee is slowly making its way into the life of the country and is replacing tea in many cases. In recent years they have opened a multitude of cafes, including controversial animal cafes, where we can find everything from ferrets to raccoons. But, without a doubt, the most consumed in Korea is Soju, which has managed to be the world’s most consumed liquor for several consecutive years. Specifically, that of the Jinro brand.
Most famous Korean drinks
It is the quintessential traditional Korean drink.
- Soju 소주: It is the quintessential traditional Korean drink. Originally it was made with rice, but now it is combined with other starches (potato, wheat, barley …). Its graduation ranges between 20% and 45%. The most common is to find 20% alcohol soju. Its flavor is similar to that of vodka, although slightly sweeter.
It is a light rice wine.
- Cheongju 청주: It is a light rice wine, very similar to sake. The best known brand is Chung Ha.
Liquor made with plums.
- Maehwasu 매화수: liquor made with plums, much softer than soju and with a lower alcohol content (14%). It is known as the female soju. It is usually drunk in shot glasses while eating.
Korean wine made from a mixture of rice and wheat.
- Makgeolli 막걸리: Korean wine made with a mixture of rice and wheat, sweet and with very little alcohol content (around 7%). It is known as farmer’s liquor, because in the past it was mainly consumed by them. Although today it can be acquired throughout the country. Its color is whitish and it is still used in Korean sacred rites ceremonies.
- Korean beers: Introduced in Korea in the early 20th century, today Hite-Jinro and OB are the two big companies that dominate the Korean market. Its consumption is widely spread, especially among women. Other famous brands that you can find are Cass, Alestone or Cafri.
They are bags of coffee, teas and smoothies.
- Bagged Drinks: They are usually seen in Korean conbini. They are bags of coffee, teas and smoothies that you can buy to take home or to consume there or on the street. In that case, for a small fee, you can purchase a set of a plastic cup, with ice and a straw, and prepare your drink yourself.
Drinkable banana yogurt.
- Bangarae Banana Milk: It is similar to a drinkable banana yogurt, although much sweeter. It is so famous in Korea that they have already brought out more flavors and has become an icon of the country. So much so that you can even find it on T-shirts and any other type of merchandising.
Japanese sake soda.
- Soda Tok: Similar to Japanese sake soda, the designs of its cans attract for their beautiful and striking colors. It only has 3% alcohol and its potential audience is women.
- Vitamin Drinks (beyond Red Bull): Koreans are very fond of this type of drink that they advertise as a hangover cure. Its prices are expensive and its variety is vast. The best-selling in Korea is the Condition (컨 더선). Other popular brands are Morning Care (모닝 케어), Vitamin C (비타민 C), and Dawn 808.
- Homemade Fermented Rice Drink – Sold at a lot of street stalls and very common in traditional village houses, such as Yangdong. It is extremely sweet and dubious looking – they sell it in reused water bottles.
Japanese green tea.
- Tea: In Korea there is a lot of love for tea, although coffee is becoming more fashionable, with the massive opening of coffee shops throughout the country. Japanese matchá green tea is also widely used and is used in sweets and ice cream.
- Jeju Orange Juice – Oranges from Jeju Island are famous throughout Korea. Sold in bottles shaped like the traditional stone statue of the island: