Korean Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages have become a component of culture and tradition in some countries such as Beer in Germany, Wine in France, Sake in Japan, vodka in Russia, and Soju is a representative of Korean alcoholic beverages in their culture and tradition.

Liquor in Korean tradition is often called Yakju. Yakju literally means alcoholic medicine that generally represented by Makgeolli and Soju. The price is relatively affordable. Rice is the main ingredient in Korean alcoholic beverages. It comes from the long history of Korea as an agricultural country.

Korean Alcoholic Beverages

Korean Alcoholic Beverages

Korean traditional alcohol is actually divided into Takju, Yakju, and Soju. These beverages are distinguished according to the process of filtration and distillation. Takju (raw alcohol) and Yakju (refined alcohol) come from the same fermentation process and are made with the same raw material, but taken at different stages.

When the rice-based alcohol is processed, it is usually separated into two parts, the clear part at the top and the cloudy at the bottom. This clear part liquid that extracted is called Yakju. The remaining substance and then filtered with water is then called Takju. Soju is one of the most popular Korean alcoholic beverages which made through the Takju or Yakju distillery.

Makgeolli (Takju)

From all the traditional Korean alcohols, Takju or Makgeolli has the longest history. This is because they are made by mixing steamed glutinous rice or wheat with worms, yeast, and fermented water. Takju at a glance has a color like milk with the alcohol content of 6% -13%. Besides storing high lactobacillus, Takju is believed to have low calories and high protein.

Korean Alcoholic Beverages


Cheongju is clear liquor which is precisely left through the processing of Makgeolli. Cheongju is widely used in various traditional rituals and ceremonies because it is considered as pure alcohol.



Soju is the most popular liquor in Korea and mass-produced type. The soju that is locally produced generally made using traditional stylisation methods and considered to be high-quality products. Andong Soju is traditionally distilled liquor and able to survive for a long period of time with a deeper sense.


Gwasilju, Wine

Gwasilju is a generic term in Korea for fruit-based liquor. The method of making Gwasilju can be divided into two categories. One method is made of fermented natural fruits and the other by mixing fruits and sugar with alcohol.

Korean Alcoholic Beverages Part of Culture and Tradition

The Essence of Alcohol from Korean Tradition and Culture

For Koreans, alcoholic beverages are lifelong companions both when sad and in a happy mood. Koreans have been making their own liquors since ancient times from healthy ingredients around their nature. Their traditional alcohol has become a cultural component, a central part of the culture, religious ritual, and social.

In some occasions, their traditional Alcohol is even an integral part of marriage. The brides perform drinking rituals as an oath symbol for their marriage. On other occasions, Korean youth will pour alcohol into their parents’ glasses as a prayer and hope that they are given good health and longevity.

Almost all traditional Korean liquors are also traditionally made and produced to maintain the quality and characteristic of the taste. The liquor is usually packed in a fancy box and making it perfect for a gift.


Korean alcohol beverages have become a component of a cultural component, a central part of the culture, religious ritual, and social.

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