Mama Knows, She Always Knows Best

Blueberry Premium Makgeolli
Unfiltered Rice Beer
6% ABV
All natural 100% Korean ingredients: young Gimpo rice, Gapyeong mountain water, live cultures, and 100% real blueberry purée
Brewed just outside of Seoul, Korea
Owner: Carol Pak

Give it a little shake but not too hard before you pour, or you’ll miss out. It’s a Pink Panther pink with lots of active fizzy bubbles and hazy from the rice. Instantly the scents are reaching my nose as I’m still pouring. It’s an aromatic blend of rice, blueberry, and a mellow candy smell that reminds me of as a kid opening the bag of jelly beans in my Easter basket. Now I’m tasting a refreshing and creamy blend of blueberries, old school Hubba Bubba bubblegum, fruity jelly beans (except the licorice one), and all those lovely bubbles. Fun and fresh!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it even sweeter, wow! Not what I expected.

This is a completely different experience than Hana Makgeolli’s makgeolli which shows the versatility and how you can transform these recipes from wine to beer to more. Again nuruk is used but this one is a wheat-rice blend. From what I’m reading, Carol Pak’s friends were part of why MÀKKU exists. While she was in Korea they coerced her into a makgeolli bar and she realized this wasn’t just an old person’s drink. After researching Korean craft brewers and their unique differing styles due to terroir much like wine, she knew she had to bring this to the US, but she wanted it to be natural. Try as she might, it took mom stepping in to get it just right (she’s a licensed herbologist), and now it’s their gift wrapped up in this pretty can for us.

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Glass of Happiness on a Rainy Day

Hana Makgeolli
Takju 16
16% ABV
Unfiltered rice wine made with organic rice, naturally fermented, and filtered NY water
Brooklyn, NY
Makers: Alice Jun and John Limb

It’s a fresh hazy natural milky color ever so slightly beige and leaves sediment all over the glass. Hovering over it still looking and scents start appearing of melons, over ripe cucumber, light spring flowers and fresh cut grass. Also tangy fermentation and rice right out of the steamer. Taking my first nervous sip and it’s bright, more zingy than expected, and tiny bubbles. Mellow flavors start coming out of the tang and there’s cucumber, melon and fruity creamy rice goodness yet dry.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: nope, Nope, NOPE

I had been looking at this in the fridge and was intimidated by it. I am not a milk drinker (except in hot chocolate) and that is exactly what it looked like, staring back at me every single time I opened the door. Was so excited when I first saw it because I had just picked up a can of Màkku (which will be opened later). Wow, what an idiot I was for hesitating. This is fun, delicious, and exactly what I needed on this rainy day, and from what I’m reading, it is often drunk after a hike in the mountains when it rains. Guess it was sheer luck for me today. Hana Makgeolli is the first craft makgeolli in the US and fortunately for me, is in Brooklyn. Alice learned from her dad’s home-brew experiments, and I hope your dad is proud of you because your creation is great! Really enjoying learning about this concoction’s wild starter nuruk which in a way makes me relate it to a sourdough starter. Maybe this is why I feel a little healthy after drinking a glass, or that could also be the tipsy talking. Such a long history in Korean culture dating back to 3rd century CE when families made their own and some still do, but as with many things now you can get it commercially made. Either way, I’m so glad I took the plunge with Takju 16, and I think this may make it’s way into a cocktail in my near future.

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