Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Beverages to Go With My Korean Dinner

Korea produces several types of spirits, including yakju, a liquor fermented from rice; soju, a clear, strong distilled liquor made from sweet potatoes; takju, a thick, unfiltered liquor fermented from grain; a variety of fruit wines made from plums, cherries, and pomegranates, and certain types of medicinal spirits distilled from herbs, seeds and roots such as ginseng.

Drinking etiquette in Korea requires pouring beverages for each other. Younger people pour for their elders, and those with lower rank pour for their superiors. When pouring, the right sleeve should be held in place with the left hand, and glasses should never be allowed to run dry.

A popular Korean hangover cure called baejangguk is a broth made from beef bone and marrow, cabbage leaves and clotted ox blood. Baejangguk is often served by pubs in the early hours of the business day.