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Drink in Korea..

stdClass Object ( [ID] => 30837 [post_author] => 54 [post_date] => 2013-07-23 05:02:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-23 05:02:38 [post_content] => YOU might not think of Korea as a nation of drinkers but they sure do love their alcohol. Not only does the nation have a lot of different alcohols, but when they're out on the town, they revel in mixing them together. Honestly, you’ve no idea how far down the warren the rabbit can stumble.
Somaek (소맥)
Anyone that's ever visited Korea should be familiar with Soju, the nation's favourite distilled rice liquor. The people here love it, and there is almost no occasion when the serving of soju is inappropriate. At around 19% proof, its strong, almost medicinal taste is often compared with vodka. Indeed soju is to Korea what vodka is to Russia. The cavalier mixing of this beloved intoxicant with beer (maekju, 맥주) creates an entirely new, yet still utterly Korean brew know as Somaek. The mixing of these two drinks is surprisingly delicious and, obviously, rather potent. [caption id="attachment_30971" align="aligncenter" width="654" caption="Somaek Time! Pic: Ben Cowles"][/caption]
Makgeolli (막걸리)
Given its sickly off-white appearance this rice wine tastes nothing like what you might expect. It's sweet and tangy and comes served in a large communal pot, which is then dished out into separate drinking bowls. The more prudent drinker will often dilute Makgeoli with lemonade, which makes it all the fizzier. You can also find its cousin Dongdongju (동동주), which is slightly less sweet and occasionally contains small chucks of rice. [caption id="attachment_30952" align="aligncenter" width="349" caption="Makgeolli. Pic: Ben Cowles"][/caption]
Baekseju (백세주)
This slightly bitter tasting potation is made with ginseng, ginger, cinnamon, and all manner of herbs. Baekseju, translating as “100 Years Rice Wine,” is said to have alchemical properties that aids in the reaching the ripe old age of 100. It's a little more expensive than other Korean rice-wines, therefore thrifty drinkers mix baekseju with soju forming Ohshipseju (오십세주, 50 years rices wine). It won't make you live as long but it is lusciously inebriating. [caption id="attachment_30963" align="aligncenter" width="314" caption="Helping you reach 100 years old! Pic: Ben Cowles"][/caption]
Bokbunja (복분자)
This delicious little tipple is as close to western wine as Korea gets. Instead of grapes this sweet and fruity vino is produced from mountain berries and is quite the favourite of young ladies. The drink also proves popular with guys, as it is said to be a potent aphrodisiac. [caption id="attachment_30965" align="aligncenter" width="349" caption="La Vin Corée. Pic: Ben"][/caption]
Cheonnyeon Yaksok (천년약속)
The official toasting drink of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) of 2005 in Busan, Cheonnyeon Yaksok, or "Thousand Year Promise" in English, is a fermented mushroom alcohol special to Korea. It's slightly sticky, sweet and comes with a pleasing aftertaste. [caption id="attachment_30970" align="aligncenter" width="349" caption="Thousand Year Promise. Pic: Ben Cowles"][/caption]
Brief Korean drinking etiquette
As with just about every social encounter in Korea, there are a panoply of social rules to observe, especially if the occasion involves co-workers or elders. As a foreigner, however, you should be fine to smash any and all taboos with near-complete impunity. One of the first things you’ll notice is that Koreans rarely pour their own drink. Usually the youngest person at the table will do the honours holding the bottle with both hands. Men quite often pour with a straight back and one hand flat across their chest. Should the person pouring your intoxicant be older then accept it with both hands on the glass. [caption id="attachment_30871" align="aligncenter" width="349" caption="Soju Champion"][/caption] (Gonbae, Cheers!) Find accommodation in Korea to suit your budget on Agoda.com MORE: Getting your drink on in Thailand – a guide * Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.com [post_title] => Getting your drink on in Korea - a guide [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => drinking-in-korea-alcohol [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-08-20 05:22:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-08-20 05:22:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=30837 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw )

Getting your drink on in Korea – a guide

Getting your drink on in Korea – a guide
July 23, 2013 - 2 Comments - Ben Cowles

YOU might not think of Korea as a nation of drinkers but they sure do love their alcohol. Not only does the nation have a lot of different alcohols, but when they’re out on the town, they revel in mixing them together. Honestly, you’ve no idea how far down the warren the rabbit can stumble.…>

5 best nightlife cities in Asia

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WHEREVER you are in Asia, there is somewhere to party. Even in the wilds of Mongolia you’ll find someone who is willing to throw back a few with you. Or in Muslim Indonesia, there is still Bali, where you can always find a party or two. Here are five of our favorite cities in Asia…>

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April 11, 2013 - 0 Comments - Casey Hynes

TRAVEL is all about adventure, new experiences, throwing yourself into the unknown – and sampling the best liquor a city has to offer. Capital cities tend to have the best selection of bars and nightlife options, and it’s always useful to know the best place to take a stiff drink at the end of a…>

Performance: Teddy Boys, Knock Down, and the Rock Tigers (DGBD, Seoul)

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January 27, 2013 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

CISK note: trying something new with this post – videos! Still photography remains my favorite, but this was a test to see how it would turn out.  When it’s time for an album release, it’s time to tour – and boy do the Rock Tigers know how to put on a show. In case it’s…>

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What’s that, you ask? You like beer too? You’d like to enjoy some good beer without feeling a beer snob or needing a degree in Beer to make a good choice? Make a beeline (beerline?) to Reilly’s for some good beer, good grub, and good conversation. Despite the impressive beer list, there isn’t any pretentiousness…>

Performance: Just Friends, Kite Flying Robot, and a fond farewell to a friend

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December 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

As with all things in life, people come and go – in this case, a fellow creative is heading back to California, and what a way to go. Props to Mark at Moonnight for making the venue available. It just happened to be the same weekend as her birthday, and naturally the crowd had to…>

‘Twas the night across Seoul

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December 24, 2012 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

Photo credit: JoshBerglund19 ‘Twas the night across Seoul, where all throughout town Lots of people were stirring, with many a frown Their papers were piled on their desks with care Because they knew the won-jang-nim would still be there The five ajummas cackled loudly over their coffee Complaining to each other that it should’ve been…>

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