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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 7, 2010

Makgeolli making a trendy comeback


By Jeff Chung

Korea's oldest alcoholic drink, makgeolli, is making a big comeback; it's the newest trend in South Korea.

Consumption of makgeolli, a rice wine also called takju (cloudy alcohol) for its appearance, has been dormant for the last 20 years, overshadowed by beer and soju. But makgeolli has recently reinvented itself with better flavor, cocktail versions and renewed packaging. It's now being appreciated overseas as well.

As a college exchange student in South Korea in the late '80s, I learned that the drink of choice for nearly all the students was makgeolli, as it was cheaper than soju. Now, with a new image, makgeolli is priced much higher, and the ingredients are of higher grade. Its sour, sweet and slight bitter taste accompanies traditional Korean food very well.

Makgeolli is made with nonglutinous rice and nuruk (ground whole wheat with yeast and enzyme), and fermented for five to seven days. That's strained, and the extract is the raw makgeolli. Most makers pasteurize it by heating the milky substance.

It's now so popular that there are schools that teach how to make makgeolli at home.

It's consumed in a fist-sized gourd bowl, rather than a small soju glass.

The next time you're in a Korean restaurant, try makgeolli with a variety of jun (Korean pancakes) or other traditional Korean foods yes, even kim chee.

The sweetness of makgeolli will soften the spicy foods you find in Korean restaurants.

You can also find a variety of makgeolli at local Korean supermarkets.

THIS WEEK'S K-DRAMA SYNOPSES

'Long Way'

Parts 1 and 2, of 2

Tonight at 7:45 p.m. and tomorrow at 7:45 p.m.: Synopsis not available.

'LOVE YOU 1,000 TIMES'

Episodes 47 and 48

Sunday at 6:45 p.m.: Se-hoon finds out who Yoo-bin's real mother is. He feels bad and tells Gang-ho to do whatever he feels is right. Gang-ho's grandmother tries to convince Eun-nim to come back home. Chung-ja tells Ae-rang about Bong. Ae-rang overhears Sun-young urging Eun-nim to end it with Gang-ho as soon as possible.

Sunday at 7:45 p.m.: Gang-ho jumps into the ocean after giving Eun-nim an ultimatum. They decide that ending it is the only way. Gang-ho falls asleep in his car in his wet clothes and almost dies. Eun-nim rushes to the hospital and ends up moving back to Gang-ho's house. Sun-young keeps trying to get Eun-nim to end it with Gang-ho. Se-hoon doesn't understand why she doesn't feel any remorse over Gang-ho and Eun-nim.

'OH! MY LADY'

Episodes 5 and 6

Monday at 7:45 p.m.: Min-woo is furious with Gae-hwa for doing a DNA test behind his back. Gae-hwa aggravates him further by urging him accept that Ye-eun is his daughter. Next day, Gae-hwa asks Min-woo for a ride to take a picnic lunch to her daughter. In the car, she chides her husband for not caring for their daughter properly, making Min-woo feel guilty.

Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.: Mr. Jung, Min-woo's agent, finds the DNA result paper in Min-woo's room and learns about everything. Gae-hwa apologizes to Min-woo for not lying to Mr. Jung about Ye-eun. Mr. Jung suggests that Min-woo take her to an orphanage. Si-joon hires a private eye to follow his wife.

'OB & GYN'

Episodes 15 and 16 (final episode)

Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.: Dr. Lee kisses Dr. Suh in the elevator; Suh leaves the elevator as soon as the doors open. Dr. Wang is shocked to have seen it. Later that day, when Suh asks if he is going to the conference on Friday, a still-upset Wang tells her no. Lee comes by with water, and the three of them can't help but feel awkward around each other.

Thursday at 7:45 p.m.: Dr. Suh cancels the appointment with Dr. Lee to go with Dr. Yun instead. Dr. suggests registering their baby under his family registry but Suh turns him down. Lee plans to propose to Suh on the rooftop but leaves when he realizes that he might have rushed it too much. Suh, without knowing what is going on, looks for Lee at the hospital; Wang sends her to the rooftop.