Makgeolli (막걸리)

Makgeolli or Takju sometimes anglicized to ‘makkoli’, is a Korean alcoholic beverage. The milky, off-white and lightly sparkling rice wine has a viscosity that tastes slightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and astringent. Chalky sediment gives it a cloudy appearance.


Takju is also called more commonly “makgeolli,” though most drinkers use the term to refer to the watered-down takjus between 6% and 8% ABV. Farmers drank makgeolli to quench their thirst out in the fields—in recent years, it became popular with college students as a cheap way to imbibe. Makgeolli is rustic, goes down easy, and its creamy texture makes it a natural companion for spicy foods. Tradition, or maybe sentiment, dictates that you drink it on a rainy day with pajeon, savory scallion pancakes. Source: Sonja Swanson/Esquire

Usual alcohol by volume: 6–9%
Country of origin: Korea
Ingredients: Rice, nuruk
Color: Opaque off-white
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