All Kinds of Alcohol Mixtures in Korea (Part 2)

Source: BBS News

On my last article I introduced some blend ratios of Korean Soju (소주) and Beer (Mak-joo). Koreans seem to like to mix up alcohol, and play with the different mixtures. However Soju and beer are not the only types of alcohol Koreans mix. Today I will show you some more interesting mixtures of Korean alcohol.


 “IV Drink”

There is a type of alcohol that is called Mae-Hwa-Soo (매화수). The IV drink is a mixture of Soju and Mae-Hwa-Soo. It is called an IV drink or in Korean (링겔주; Ling-gell-Joo) because of the Mae-Hwa-Soo dripping down looks like an IV.


Then how do people make this hourglass looking IV drink? First you need 2 bottles of alcohol. One bottle of Soju and one bottle of Mae-Hwa-Soo. Next is simple but hard. You block the opening of the Mae-Hwa-Soo and but it on top of the Soju as quickly as possible, trying not to spill the Mae-Hwa-Soo. This technique requires a lot of speed and skill. It may even look impossible. To help the ones who are not as quick, there is a trick that many business people use. It is their business card. Place your business card on top of the Mae-Hwa-Soo. Then put the Mae-Hwa-Soo on top of the Soju. The business card helps to block the spilling of Mae-Hwa-Soo. Quickly remove the business card after the Mae-Hwa-Soo and Soju are in place.

Then you can just lay back and watch the Mae-Hwa-Soo and Soju mix. The Mae-Hwa-Soo will slowly drip down to the Soju, forming light ripples or clouds. It is cool to watch, but you need about 3 minutes to fully mix. Also, be careful that you don’t knock out the Mae-Hwa-Soo on top.


The final color of the IV drink will be a light yellow, as seen in the picture above.(The far right glass has the IV drink) Mae-Hwa-Soo is a plum alcohol, with a nice fragrance. The IV drink will have a scent of plum and the softness of Soju. Be sure to taste it but be careful, the taste is soft but the alcohol is strong.


“With Hong-Cho / Hong-Ik-In-Gan Drink / With Red Vinegar”


The ingredients to Hong-Ik-In-Gan (홍익인간) is Soju and Hong-Cho (홍초). Hong-Cho is a red vinegar that people drink for health. Drinking it right out of the bottle is too strong, so they mix it with water. Hong-Cho can be bought in supermarkets such as E-mart. Hong-Ik-In-Gan is the motto the first king that ever ruled in the lands of the Korean peninsula, Dan-Goon, had. Hong-Ik-In-Gan means to give help and make the lives of people better all around, near and far. Because Hong-Cho and Hong-Ik-In-Gan both start with Hong, they call this drink a nickname of Hong-Ik-In-Gan. Which in these terms mean “To give help and make the lives of people better all-around with alcohol”.

Source: HiteJinro

Making the Hong-Ik-In-Gan is so easy. Open the bottle of Soju and pour out one glass. Then fill up the Soju bottle with Hong-Cho. Close the bottle, and shake the bottle to mix the Hong-Cho and Soju together. Drink happily. This is all to making Hong-Ik-In-Gan. It will have a pretty color and great taste.


“Go-Jin-Gam-Lay” or “After the bitter comes the sweet”

This is a cool but hard drink. It may not be hard to drink, but you have to put two Soju glasses in a beer glass, and fetching them out after drinking is bothersome. However that will not stop Koreans from making this drink, “Go-Jin-Gam-Lay”. “Go-Jin-Gam-Lay” (고진감래) is a Chinese character saying that means that if you endure the hardness, sweetness (joy) will come. That is what happens with this drink. There are three ingredients, Soju, beer, and Cola. If you endure the bitter Soju and beer, you can taste the sweet Coca-Cola. Making the “Go-Jin-Gam-Lay” is not that hard. First you fill a Soju glass half with Coke. Then you fill another Soju glass half with Soju. Put the Soju glass with Coke in the Beer glass, and then the Soju glass with Soju on top of the Coke. Next fill the beer glass with beer. When you drink the Go-Jin-Gam-Lay, you will first taste the bitter beer and Soju but after you will taste the sweet Coca-Cola. That is Go-Jin-Gam-Lay, first the bitterness and last the sweetness.

This is the end of my series of alcohol mixtures of Korea. There are much more alcohol mixtures that Koreans make and drink, so have your eyes open for more. Also, do not be afraid to try your own mixtures. Who knows? Maybe someday your mixtures might become famous among Koreans.


Article by Hee-sun from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration

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