Makgeolli – A Taste Of The Moon 月香本色 (월향)

You would think we’d had stop eating after Modak Modak but NOoooo! We were only in Seoul for a few days and we intended to eat as much as possible, humanly possible, lol… 😉

We strolled a bit in Hongdae area to help with digestion before we finally hit Wol Hyang 월향 for Makgeolli – A Taste of Moon.

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Wol Hyang 월향
The place to go for 막걸리 (Makgeolli).

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There are quite a few ceramic bowls on display in this dimly lit cozy restaurant.

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Small eats or Banchan is inevitably served at almost if not all Korean eateries and restaurants.

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A must-have appetiser is the spicy Kimchi, of course!
There are many types of Kimchi but the basic 3 are: Fresh, Fermented and White Kimchi.
I like the fermented spicy kimchi best.

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Menu boasts a wide variety of Makgeolli and food.
You can view more food on their facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tasteofthemoon

Makgeolli was originally quite popular among farmers, earning it the name nongju (농주 / 農酒), which means farmer liquor. However, it has recently started to become more popular in cities, especially with the younger generations. Dongdongju (동동주) is a drink very similar to makgeolli, and both are commonly imbibed alongside Korean pancakes such as pajeon (파전) or bindaetteok (빈대떡).

According to The Poetic Records of Emperors and Kings (Jewangun-gi), written during the Goryeo Dynasty, the first mention of the drink was in the founding story of the Goguryeo during the reign of King Dongmyeong. Many communities in Korea around that time enjoyed the tradition of drinking and dancing all night in special ceremonies. During the Goryeo dynasty, makgeolli was called ihwa-ju (pear blossom alcohol), as the liquor was made during the blossoming of that particular flower. – Wikipedia

After a quick discussion, we decided to have 3 flavours, the Original, Walnut with Honey and Mango Makgeolli.

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막걸리 or Makgeolli is an alcoholic beverage native to Korea.
It is made from a mixture of wheat and rice, giving it an off-white colour and tangy sweetness.
Also called “Takju,” after its cloudy appearance, Makgeolli is made by steaming glutinous rice, barley or wheat with water and the fermentation starter, Nuruk.

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Makgeolli isn’t distilled after fermentation, hence its opaque milky appearance.
Makgeolli is 6–8% alcohol by volume.
Above is Makgeolli with Honey.

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There are many flavours these days, and the picture above showed one with honey to be stirred well before consumption.

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Most makgeolli are made with rice.
However, a few brands contain *wheat instead of rice.
We like those made with rice.

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Traditionally, Makgeolli is consumed in ceramic or earthern bowls.
I can’t think of any better way to drink it.
Never in a cup, please!

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Like wine, commence with the mildest in taste or flavour.
We started off with the Original.

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Next we had the Walnut & Honey.

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And finally, the Mango.

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It is good manners to hold the bowl with two hands when makgeolli or any drinks are poured for you.

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It is also good manners to use two hands when we cheers to each other’s good health.
In Korean culture, the younger persons usually turn away and not face the elders when they are drinking at the same table.

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This was the one and only dish we had.
I don’t know the name but it is like Dubu Kimchi.

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Like I said, we could only eat as much as humanly possible 😉

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Have a piece of pork?

Click on picture to be redirected to the Map.

Click on picture to be redirected to the Map.

Makgeolli’s taste essentially depends on its main ingredient – rice (and the region where the rice is produced). Traditionally produced Makgeolli do not employ artificial sweeteners. It should be subtly carbonated like mild beer. This alcoholic beverage has a sweet and fizzy taste reminiscent of crisp fruits or fragrant blossoms used in the flavouring.

The use of *wheat instead of rice was spawned after the 70s when the government rationed rice. Chemically induced (to hasten the) fermentation can cause bad hangovers.

Since 2008, the popularity of drinking Makgeolli has returned after recipes were tweaked to repair the ancient liquor’s reputation.

There are some healthy benefits to drinking authentic Makgeolli. It is rich in vitamins B1, B2 and C, and minerals, fibre, amino acids and lactobacilli. These vital nutrients are believed to possess anti-ageing properties, lower cholesterol, promote intestinal health, as well as help prevent cancer.

Typically, Makgeolli’s lifespan of about one week has hindered its growth prospects, especially as an export, but Korean breweries are working with scientists and food engineers to develop products like “3rd generation” Makgeolli, which can stay fresh for up to six weeks.

Koreans regard Makgeolli (Rice Wine) as a gift of nature. I totally agree! 🙂

Wol Hyang 월향 (Taste of the Moon)
Address: 서울시 마포구 서교동 335-5
335-5 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu,
Seoul, South Korea.

Date visited: 2nd May 2014.

Happy discovering 🙂

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