45 Korean Drinks You’ll Love: Spirits | Cocktails | Wine | Beer | No-Alcohol

Explore the rich world of Korean beverages with this ultimate guide, covering every sip from traditional spirits to refreshing non-alcoholic drinks. Whether you’re a fan of potent liquor, flavorful cocktails, unique beers, or aromatic wines, Korea’s drink scene has it all. Not to mention the comforting hot and invigorating cold soft drinks that complete the vast selection.

Join me on a flavorful journey through Korea’s diverse array of drinks, where there’s something for every palate. >>>

1.) Spirits from Korea

1.1.) Korean Liquor

1. Soju

  • Clear, distilled spirit

Soju is the most popular and iconic Korean spirit, a clear distilled beverage typically made from rice, wheat, or barley. Renowned for its versatility and smoothness, soju pairs exceptionally well with a wide array of Korean dishes, making it a staple in Korean dining and social occasions.

2. Goryangju

  • Grain-based spirit

Goryangju is a less commonly known traditional Korean spirit made from a variety of grains, offering a deep and earthy flavor profile. This spirit is a testament to the diversity and richness of Korea’s alcoholic beverage landscape, appreciated by those seeking an authentic and robust drinking experience.

3. Munbaeju

  • Pear-flavored, distilled spirit

Munbaeju is a distinguished traditional Korean liquor with a unique pear aroma and flavor, a heritage that traces back over a millennium. This high-proof spirit is revered for its delicate balance of sweetness and strength, embodying the rich cultural heritage of Korea’s distilling traditions.

1.2.) Korean Liqueurs

4. Bokbunja-ju Liqueur

  • Black raspberry liqueur

Bokbunja-ju, when prepared as a liqueur, offers a sweet and fruity experience derived from Korean black raspberries. This delectable drink marries the natural tartness of the berries with added sweetness, creating a luxurious and smooth liqueur perfect for sipping or enhancing cocktails.

5. Omija-ju

  • Five-flavor berry liqueur

Omija-ju is a unique Korean liqueur made from the “five-flavor berry,” which intriguingly encompasses sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and pungent tastes. This multifaceted drink is not only a delight to the palate but also steeped in health-related folklore, often enjoyed for both its flavor and purported benefits.

6. Dugyeonju

  • Azalea blossom liqueur

Dugyeonju is a traditional Korean liqueur infused with the essence of azalea blossoms, offering a floral and slightly sweet taste. This seasonal liqueur captures the essence of spring in Korea and is cherished for its delicate flavors and fragrant aroma, making it a unique addition to Korea’s liqueur variety.

1.3.) Other Korean Spirits

7. Hongju

  • Red herbal spirit

Hongju is a distinctive Korean red herbal spirit, notable for its vibrant color and medicinal properties. This drink combines the warmth of alcohol with the benefits of traditional Korean herbs, offering a unique and health-conscious alcoholic option.

2.) Cocktails from Korea

2.1.) Soju-based Cocktails

8. Somaek (Soju and beer mix)

  • Soju and beer blend

Somaek is a beloved Korean cocktail combining soju and beer, creating a refreshing and effervescent mix that’s perfect for social gatherings. This simple yet popular drink is known for its smoothness and ability to complement a wide range of Korean dishes, making it a favorite in bars and restaurants across Korea.

9. Subak Soju (Watermelon Soju cocktail)

  • Watermelon-infused soju

Subak Soju is a delightful summer cocktail that blends the sweetness of fresh watermelon with the crispness of soju. This vibrant and refreshing drink is not only visually appealing with its bright red hue but also offers a tantalizing mix of sweet and subtle alcoholic flavors, making it a popular choice for warm weather festivities.

10. Yujacha Soju (Yuja Tea and Soju cocktail)

  • Yuja tea and soju concoction

Yujacha Soju combines the citrusy sweetness of Yuja tea with the clear, smooth taste of soju, creating a cocktail that’s both invigorating and warming. This innovative mix is perfect for those looking to enjoy the traditional flavors of Korea with a modern twist, offering a balance of sweet, sour, and alcoholic notes.

11. Soju Mojito

  • Soju-based Mojito variant

The Soju Mojito is a Korean take on the classic Mojito, substituting rum with soju for a lighter, smoother version. This cocktail blends soju with fresh mint, lime, and soda water, offering a refreshing and aromatic drink that’s ideal for cooling down on hot days or enjoying a relaxed evening.

12. Soju Sunrise

  • Soju with a citrusy twist

Soju Sunrise is a layered cocktail that combines soju with orange juice and a splash of grenadine, creating a visually stunning and tastefully refreshing drink. This cocktail’s layers mimic the hues of a sunrise, offering a blend of sweet, tangy, and smooth flavors that make it a popular choice for celebrations and casual gatherings alike. Soju Sunrise is the Korean take on the classic Tequila Sunrise cocktail.

2.2.) Rice Wine Cocktails

13. Honey Makgeolli Cocktail

  • Makgeolli and honey fusion

The Honey Makgeolli Cocktail is a sweet and smooth concoction that combines the traditional Korean rice wine, Makgeolli, with the natural sweetness of honey. This cocktail offers a creamy texture and a perfect balance between the earthy notes of Makgeolli and the soothing sweetness of honey, creating a comforting and indulgent drink experience.

3.) Brewed & Fermented Alcoholic Beverages from Korea

3.1.) Korean Wine

14. Bokbunja-ju Wine

  • Black raspberry wine

Bokbunja-ju, when enjoyed as a wine, is a fruity and sweet beverage made from Korean black raspberries. This wine is cherished for its deep, rich color and the balance of sweet and tart flavors, offering a unique tasting experience that reflects the natural bounty of Korea’s landscapes.

15. Maesil-ju

  • Plum wine

Maesil-ju is a traditional Korean plum wine known for its sweet and sour profile, made from fermented green plums. This delightful wine is often enjoyed as a dessert beverage or a refreshing aperitif, showcasing the versatility and richness of Korean fruit wines.

3.2.) Korean Beer

16. Hite

  • Crisp lager

Hite is a popular Korean lager known for its crisp and clean taste, making it a refreshing choice for any occasion. This beer is a staple in Korea, enjoyed for its light body and smooth finish, perfectly complementing Korean cuisine.

17. Cass

  • Light and refreshing lager

Cass is another leading Korean beer, appreciated for its lightness and refreshing qualities. Its mild flavor profile makes it an excellent companion to the spicy and bold flavors of Korean dishes, offering a palate-cleansing effect.

18. OB

  • Smooth lager

OB beer is a smooth and well-balanced Korean lager that offers a subtle malt flavor with a clean finish. It’s a preferred choice for those seeking a classic beer experience that pairs well with a wide range of foods.

19. Max

  • Mellow lager

Max is a Korean beer known for its mellow taste and smooth texture. This beer is designed to appeal to a broad audience, offering a gentle introduction to the world of Korean lagers with its approachable flavor.

3.3.) Other Korean Brewed & Fermented Alcoholic Drinks

20. Cheongju/Chongju

  • Refined, clear rice wine

Cheongju, also known as Chongju, is a refined and clear Korean rice wine, esteemed for its purity, delicate taste, and elegant smoothness. Often compared to Japanese sake, this beverage is celebrated for its subtle complexities and clean finish, making it a preferred choice for ceremonial occasions and those with refined palates. Cheongju/Chongju embodies the essence of traditional Korean rice wines, offering a serene and gentle drinking experience.

21. Makgeolli

  • Traditional rice wine

Makgeolli is a traditional Korean rice wine with a milky appearance and a slightly sweet, tangy flavor profile. This age-old beverage is celebrated for its nutritional benefits and is often enjoyed in a communal setting, symbolizing Korean hospitality and communal spirit.

22. Yakju

  • Refined rice wine

Yakju is a refined Korean rice wine, clearer and more elegant than Makgeolli, known for its smooth and sophisticated flavor. This wine is often reserved for special occasions, embodying the grace and refinement of Korean traditional brewing.

23. Dongdongju

Rice wine with grains

Dongdongju is a variant of Makgeolli, distinguished by its inclusion of whole rice grains, giving it a thicker texture. This drink offers a deeper taste and a more substantial mouthfeel, reflecting the rustic and authentic side of Korean rice wines.

24. Ihwaju

  • Thick, rice-based wine

Ihwaju is a traditional Korean rice wine with a distinctive thick consistency, sometimes served as a dessert due to its rich and sweet profile. This heritage drink, often enjoyed during festivities, showcases the depth of Korea’s brewing traditions with its unique texture and nuanced flavors.

25. Gamju

  • Sweet rice wine

Gamju, a sweet rice wine, is a lesser-known Korean beverage with a gentle sweetness and a light, viscous texture. This drink is a testament to the variety and depth of traditional Korean brewing techniques.

26. Beolddeokju

  • Special yeast rice wine

Beolddeokju is a unique Korean rice wine made using a special kind of yeast, offering an earthy aroma and a complex flavor profile. This wine is a reflection of Korea’s rich brewing heritage and the diverse flavors that can be achieved through traditional methods.

4.) Non-Alcoholic Drinks from Korea

4.1.) Cold Korean Non-Alcoholic Beverages

27. Barley Tea (Boricha)

  • Roasted grain infusion

Barley Tea, known as Boricha in Korea, is a staple beverage enjoyed for its nutty and toasty flavor. This caffeine-free infusion is made by steeping roasted barley, offering a refreshing and comforting drink that’s enjoyed throughout the day and known for its digestive benefits.

28. Corn Tea (Oksusu cha)

  • Sweet, roasted corn infusion

Corn Tea, or Oksusu cha, is a beloved Korean drink made from roasted corn kernels, resulting in a sweet and aromatic beverage. This caffeine-free tea is cherished for its comforting sweetness and is often consumed for its soothing effect and unique flavor profile.

29. Omija Tea (Five-flavor berry tea)

  • Berry with five distinct tastes

Omija Tea is crafted from the “five-flavor berry,” which encompasses sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent tastes. This unique tea offers a complex flavor experience and is often enjoyed both for its intriguing taste and potential health benefits, including stress relief.

30. Pear Barley Tea (Bae boricha)

  • Pear-infused grain tea

Pear Barley Tea combines the wholesome goodness of barley tea with the sweet, refreshing essence of pears. This fusion results in a light and aromatic beverage that’s particularly favored during the warmer months for its hydrating and cooling properties.

31. Pine Needle Tea (Solip-cha)

  • Aromatic pine infusion

Pine Needle Tea, or Solip-cha, is an aromatic beverage made from the needles of pine trees, offering a unique and refreshing flavor. This tea is not only appreciated for its taste but also for its vitamin C content and potential health benefits, such as aiding in respiratory health.

32. Yuja-hwachae (Citrus punch)

  • Yuja and honey punch

Yuja-hwachae is a refreshing citrus punch made with Yuja (Korean citron) and sweetened with honey. This vibrant and tangy beverage is packed with vitamin C and is a popular choice for its immune-boosting properties and refreshing taste.

33. Subak-hwachae (Watermelon punch)

  • Watermelon and berry punch

Subak-hwachae is a delightful watermelon punch often served with berries and ice, making it a quintessential summer drink in Korea. This refreshing beverage is not only visually appealing but also hydrating and rich in antioxidants, perfect for cooling down on hot days.

34. Sikhye (Sweet rice drink)

  • Fermented rice beverage

Sikhye is a traditional Korean sweet beverage made from fermented rice, known for its mildly sweet flavor and refreshing qualities. Often served as a dessert, Sikhye is believed to aid digestion and is a celebratory drink in many Korean festivities.

35. Misugaru (Mixed grain powder beverage)

  • Multi-grain nutritional shake

Misugaru is a nutritious Korean drink made from mixed grains, offering a rich, smooth texture and a subtly sweet taste when mixed with milk or water. This wholesome beverage is packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals, making it a popular choice for a healthy, energizing drink.

36. Banana Milk

  • Sweet banana-flavored milk

Banana Milk is a beloved Korean beverage known for its sweet, creamy flavor and smooth texture. This iconic drink is not only a favorite among children but also enjoyed by adults for its nostalgic taste and comforting qualities.

37. Jeup (Fruit and vegetable juices)

  • Freshly squeezed juices

Jeup refers to a variety of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices in Korea, offering a wide range of flavors from sweet to savory. These nutritious drinks are highly valued for their health benefits, including boosting immunity and providing essential vitamins and minerals.

4.2.) Hot Korean Non-Alcoholic Beverages

38. Jujube Tea (Daechu cha)

  • Sweet, date-like infusion

Jujube Tea, or Daechu cha, is a sweet and comforting beverage made from Korean dates (jujubes). This tea is not only enjoyed for its delightful taste but also for its calming effects and potential to improve sleep, thanks to the natural properties of jujubes.

39. Mugwort Tea (Ssuk cha)

  • Earthy, herbal tea

Mugwort Tea, known as Ssuk cha, is a traditional Korean herbal tea made from mugwort, valued for its deep earthy flavor and purported health benefits. This tea is often consumed for its digestive benefits and is believed to help with various ailments, reflecting the Korean practice of using natural remedies for health and wellness.

40. Lotus Leaf Tea (Yeonip-cha)

  • Floral, aromatic brew

Lotus Leaf Tea, or Yeonip-cha, is a fragrant and soothing beverage made from the leaves of the lotus plant. This tea is cherished for its subtle floral notes and is believed to offer stress-relieving properties, making it a perfect choice for relaxation and meditation.

41. Persimmon Leaf Tea (Gamnip-cha)

  • Mild, sweet leaf tea

Persimmon Leaf Tea, or Gamnip-cha, is a gentle tea made from the leaves of persimmon trees. This tea offers a mild and slightly sweet flavor, along with health benefits such as enhancing metabolism and contributing to cardiovascular health.

42. Schisandra Tea

  • Berry-infused, tangy tea

Schisandra Tea is made from the schisandra berry, known for its unique five-flavor profile that includes sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent tastes. This tea is often consumed for its adaptogenic properties, helping to increase resistance to stress and boost energy levels.

43. Ginseng Tea (Insam cha)

  • Herbal, medicinal brew

Ginseng Tea, or Insam cha, is a revered hot beverage in Korea, known for its earthy flavor and numerous health benefits. This tea is made from Korean ginseng, renowned worldwide for its ability to boost energy, enhance mental performance, and support overall wellness.

44. Ginger Tea (Saenggang cha)

  • Spicy, warming infusion

Ginger Tea, known as Saenggang cha in Korea, is a spicy and warming beverage enjoyed for both its flavor and health properties. This tea is often consumed to soothe sore throats, aid digestion, and warm the body during cold weather, making it a staple in Korean households.

45. Green Tea (Nokcha)

  • Classic, antioxidant-rich

Green Tea, or Nokcha, is a staple in Korea, known for its antioxidant properties and delicate, grassy flavor. This tea is a central part of Korean tea culture, enjoyed for its health benefits, including improved brain function and enhanced well-being, making it a popular choice for daily consumption.

Share the love
© 2023 Cocktailogy