Alcohol is quite an important part of Korean culture. While the first Korean liquor that comes to mind is probably soju, there are numerous traditional Korean alcohols. Luckily, you can enjoy a free Korean traditional alcohol tasting in Seoul at The Sool Gallery!
The most common and famous drink is a Korean rice vodka called soju. It is often cheaper than water and is the go-to choice for many Koreans on a night out. While this drink dates back to Goryeo there are actually many more, far older traditional Korean alcoholic beverages made from rice. These include Cheongju and Makgeolli which enjoyed much more popularity in the past.
But, there are many types of Korean alcohol made from different traditional ingredients. There are wines made from fruits such as plums and blackberries. Then, there are various vodkas made from mountain roots such as Oolong and bellflower roots. And, a historical least-favorite, there are medicinal alcohols that often include various herbs or even some extreme ingredients like snakes.
The world of traditional Korean alcohol is vast. So, if you are interested in this topic, I highly suggest visiting The Sool Gallery. Here you can learn all about these various drinks and try some free makgeolli for yourself.
HANSIK Space E:eum is a tasting venue located in the center of Seoul at The Sool Gallery. In addition to Korean traditional liquor, various other programs are conducted in this place to promote Korean products and foods.
At the reception desk of The Sool Gallery, you need to inform them that you have come for a tasting of Korean alcohol. Then, they will show you where to go.
Sool Gallery is located in HANSIK Space E:eum. “The Sool Gallery is a community established by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation to introduce the taste and the charm of Korean traditional liquor and its cultural value.” (The Sool Gallery)
This gallery has a huge variety of Korean alcoholic drinks. Many of them are hard to find in typical stores. For everyone there is an opportunity to buy alcohol right there, the prices are about the same as in stores, or a little cheaper.
In addition to the exhibition and the sale of alcoholic beverages, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with some exhibits that reveal the history of the preparation of Korean alcohol. For example, near the entrance, there is a huge barrel. It was used to infuse alcohol with various flavors. Also, dried agricultural products, such as rice, used in the creation of alcohol can be seen on the shelves.
The tasting program runs every day except Monday and national holidays. To participate, you need to register in advance on Naver. The duration of the program is only 30 minutes. During this time, you will try five completely different drinks. Then, you will listen to the history of their origin, and methods of making.
Don’t worry about not knowing Korean. Every day this program is organized in English at 15:00 and 16:00. 8 people can participate at the same time. You can also come with a Korean friend, but only one (program conditions).
Participation and registration are absolutely free. That’s right, you do not need to pay for anything. If you wish, after the end of the tasting, you can purchase the drinks you just tried, or any other available.
The program changes every month. If you want to find learn about the drinks that will be offered next month, you can subscribe to The Sool Gallery Instagram. There, you can find regular updates.
Additionally, you will be given small cards with the image of the drink. It will include each bottle’s volume, description of the composition, and percentage of alcohol. Also, it will include an interesting scheme illustrating a combination of various factors: color, taste, transparency, how sour and sweet the flavor is, the duration of the aftertaste, etc.
For everyone who wants to attend this event, you need to select the time and date of attendance by clicking on this link.
The Sool Gallery (전통주갤러리) Address: Seoul, Jongno-gu, Jae-dong, 54-5 Korean address: 서울 종로구 북촌로 18 1층 Operating Hours: 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM Closed: Mondays
If you want to learn more general information about Korean traditional alcohol, Click Here!