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10 Korean Drinks to Try This Super Bowl 🏈

10 Korean Drinks to Try This Super Bowl 🏈

WOOOO! It’s finally Super Bowl season!! Who are you cheering for? The Kansas City Chiefs or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? To prepare for the first official game of the season, we’ve come up with a list of unique and refreshing Korean beverages to spice things up on game day. From simple iced teas and fruit punches to alcoholic mixed drinks and fancy cocktails, we’ve got it all!  If you’re also interested in how to drink like a proper Korean, then check out this article for some basic information! 

1. Korean Iced Teas


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Switch out your plain waters for a refreshing Korean iced tea! Our top three recommendations include Iced Barley Tea, Iced Maesil (Green Plum) Tea, and Iced Yuja Tea. Each of the iced teas are caffeine free, nutritious, and revitalizing beverages perfect for Super Bowl Sunday! For those who are looking to maintain their health-consciousness on game day, try Iced Barley Tea, an infusion of roasted barley kernels in water, which tastes nutty, toasted, and slightly sweet. For those who are craving something sweeter and more sparkly, try Korean Green Plum Iced Tea (Maesil) or Honey Citron Sparkling Iced Tea (Yuja). We also recommend that you try mixing the Yuja marmalade with fresh mint leaves, soda water, and soju for a delicious Yuja Mojito!

2. Hwachae


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Hwachae, or the general word used for Korean non-alcoholic punches, usually consist of assorted fruits and flowers, steeped in honeyed water or honeyed fruit juice (like magnolia berry juice or whatever fruit you’re using). Doesn’t that already sound mouthwatering? The most popular Hwachae is Subak-Hwachae, or Watermelon Fruit Punch (which you can make alcoholic if you’d like). You can customize this recipe and add any fruits that you would like, along with ice and honeyed watermelon juice. You can also add Sprite or sparkling water for the zingy effect. And of course, you can add soju (even some ginger liqueur and lime juice) for an alcoholic version of this yummy punch! Here's a video on how to make the Watermelon Hwachae.  

3. Sikhye Slushie


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Another refreshing drink-made-punch is Sikhye Slushie! Sikhye is a traditional Korean non-alcoholic barley malt drink combined with sugar, rice, and pine nuts. It usually ranges from moderately sweet to sweet and is good for digestion. While Sikhye alone can be a bit burdensome for game day, sikhye slushie is the perfect mix of icey and sweet. Here's a video of how to make this delicious drink. Making this drink can be a bit time consuming, so there’s also a canned version which is also pretty good that you can buy online!

4. Makgeolli


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Just like Sikhye, Makgeolli is another traditional Korean drink, but alcoholic. It’s a fermented rice wine that is slightly fizzy, sweet, and milky. While it can taste a little bit heavier depending on the brand, the original makgeolli flavor is refreshing and smooth. However, we recommend the flavored makgeolli, which people mix with other drinks for a sweeter, fruitier rendition, for the Super Bowl. You can find makgeolli at your local Asian grocery store!

5. White Grape Pulp Drink


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White Grape Pulp Juice is another popular, sweet, and fruity Korean canned beverage that’s also surprisingly tasty when mixed with other drinks or alcohol. It’s aromatic and honeyed, with a refreshing taste that you’ve probably never tasted before! Inside this drink are whole white grapes with the seeds removed, which makes it extra refreshing and delicious. You can buy a 12-pack on Amazon! What’s become a recent trend is mixing this drink with beer! Yes, beer. Mixed with equal parts beer (a lighter one) and this grape pulp juice, this beverage is sweet, invigorating, and addictive!

6. Korean Fruit Vinegar Drink


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Hongcho is a combination of fruit concentrate and vinegar to produce a fruity and tangy versatile drink. It comes in a variety of flavors, such as pomegranate (a favorite), apple, lemon, blackberry, blueberry, banana, orange, peach , grapefruit, apricot, and more. It’s a tasty addition to water, soda water, milk, makgeolli (rice wine), soju, and even beer! We recommend that you mix this concentrated drink with lime, mint, soju, and ice for an ambrosial, fancy-looking (but extremely easy) game day beverage! You can buy this refreshing and healthy drink on Amazon.

7. Korean Beers


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If you already love an ice-cold glass of beer on Super Bowl Sunday, then you should experiment with Korean beers. Oriental Brewery is a popular company that hosts multiple beers with their own distinct flavors and texture. Other popular Korean beers include Hite, Cass, OB Golden Lager, Cafri, and Kloud. They are all light bodied beers which we recommend you drink in a frosty, cold glass. These lighter beers also pair wonderfully well with soju (called So-Maek, or the combination of soju and maekju/beer)! We recommend that you buy one of these beers at your local Asian store and mix it with soju. If you’re feeling bolder, then play some popular Korean drinking games during those commercial breaks. Here are 5 drinking games that are loads of fun! 

8. Soju


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As Jay Park (Korean hip hop artist) said in his song “Soju”: “we bout to get lit off the sooooju.” Soju is an alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented rice, or other grains and starches. It’s the ultimate Korean drink and honestly pairs well with just about anything. Commonly 19-25% alcohol, it’s slightly sweet, sharp, and clean-tasting. We highly recommend that you try mixing soju with other beverages and ingredients on game day. Some tasty reiterations of soju-mixers are the minty and refreshing  Cucumber Soju-Coolers and the sweet and slightly fruity Yakult Soju. Look here for more soju-mixer ideas!

9. Modern Mixers 


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For a more modern spin on these classic Korean beverages, we’ve included three mixed-drink recipes that are sure to tingle your taste buds.

The first mixture is a fruity, tangy cocktail that uses the White Grape Pulp drink we mentioned earlier. It’s called a Chewy Jelly Cocktail and consists of lemon vodka, vitamin water, the white grape drink, and a touch of fruit cocktail.

Another flavorful option for Super Bowl Sunday is the Korean Lime Margarita, which includes tequila, triple sec, lime, salt, ice, mint, and last but not least, gochujang! Yup, gochujang. This gives the drink a nice kick (no pun intended), which is perfect if you want to stay alert for the football game!

Finally, the third recipe is the Gin Kimchi Cocktail. Before you crinkle your nose, give it a try! While you can actually add kimchi to the drink (like the Kimchi Bloody Mary or Kimchi Micheladas), the cocktail is actually made with ingredients like ginger, honey, and daikon to imitate kimchi flavors! 

10. Traditional Mixers


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Traditional Korean drinks, like Su Jung Kwa (a dried jujube fruit, cinnamon, and ginger drink), are typically more flavored and give off that traditional flavor. Modern adaptations of these traditional drinks have brought out the unique tastes and combined them perfectly with alcohol, like rye whiskey. This creates beverages like the Su Jung Kwa/ Rye-Spiked Cinnamon Cocktail, which still retains the spiced, sweet body of the original, traditional tea, but adds a slightly citrusy, bitter aroma and a smoky flavor.