It’s that time of the year again when we snuggle up and gather up around a table with family, enjoying the carols and the festive mood. When it gets to the holiday season, however, Koreans actually don’t do a lot except for drinking … a lot. Koreans are known for their hardcore drinking, but every end of the year, we drink even more. Even more, if they’re single, they’ll end up drinking more because the society created an ideal that Christmas and New Years are the best when you’re with your significant other. Therefore, we decided to provide you with some insights into what Koreans would drink with each of the drinks – beer, soju and makgeolli.
Beer with chicken is so famous in Korea that there’s a special term coined for it – chimaek(치맥). There are restaurants serving only beer and chicken with a lot of varieties in chicken. The recent trend is to add *cheese to everything, so you would expect a lot of cheese fondue chicken menus. Koreans would drink beer with dried nuts too, but still chimaek tops the list.
Leave out soju from a Korean barbecue, and Koreans would feel like something is missing out. Whether it’s samgyupsal, makchang or any other chang’s, Koreans love to accompany soju with Korean barbecue. One bite of meat and a sip of soju? Perfect!
As introduced in ‘What Koreans eat on rainy days’ episode, Koreans automatically seek for makgeolli, the drink made out of fermented rice when eating jeon, the rice pancakes. Places where they specialize in these are often named by ‘traditional’ and ‘folk’ on their banners. On rainy days, Koreans would seek for a sip of makgeolli with a hot, just-made, sizzling jeon.
This combo is relatively new, but due to the nature of Korean food, we, as Koreans, get our tongues fired up by the time we’re done with spicy meals. To balance out the spiciness, we get yogurt based fruit juice ‘coolpeace’ or milk, which has been scientifically proven to soothe out the spiciness from our mouth. Just ask for a pack of “coolpeace” when you are eating something spicy at a Korean restaurant, and they’ll hand it out to you. Plus, they are among the cheapest drinks on the menu!
*The very recent trend in Korea is to add cheese to food – whether it’s barbecue, tteokbokki, or even ice flakes. The epitome of this is cheese back ribs. There are multiple restaurants specializing in this new menu. From the editor’s and friends’ experience, though, the reviews are disappointing as it’s basically just cheese and meat, separately on a single dish.