Most Americans are just starting to catch on to makgeolli, the ancient, hazy, fizzy Korean alcoholic rice beverage, and a handful of bartenders are using it in cocktails, among them Katie Rue of Reception Bar in New York City.
In this one, she employs Kook Soon Dang makgeolli. It’s joined with soju to boost the proof, plus honey and chamoe and lemon juices. Chamoe is a Korean melon variety; its juice is best used fresh, but you can freeze any leftover juice and thaw it to use in future drinks. If you’re not able to source it where you are, honeydew juice makes the best substitute. Note that Kook Soon Dang makgeolli is drier than many commercial makgeolli brands. If you opt to use a sweeter makgeolli, you’ll want to reduce the amount of honey accordingly.
- 2 ounces Kook Soon Dang makgeolli
- 2 ounces Hwayo 41° soju
- 2 1/2 ounces chamoe juice (or honeydew juice)
- 1/3 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 barspoon honey
- Garnish: chamoe slice (or honeydew slice)
Gently agitate the makgeolli in its bottle to evenly distribute any settled rice solids.
Add makgeolli, soju, and melon and lemon juices into a shaker.
Add the honey and stir to dissolve.
Fill the shaker with ice.
If the makgeolli is more flat, as with Kook Soon Dang, shake vigorously. If using a fresh bottle of a different type of makgeolli with high carbonation, shake gently to chill.
Strain into a goblet.
Garnish with a chamoe slice (or honeydew slice).