Best MAKGEOLLI Bars in Seoul: Traditional Korean Alcoholic Drinks (2024)

Korea is an amazing country to visit. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is famous for temples and palaces, in other words, historical places. It has become a place of attraction for tourists from all around the world. During a trip to Korea, one must visit Seoul if you love hiking and visiting historical places. It is not only famous for historical buildings but also for traditional foods and Korean drinks. One of the most popular traditional drinks in Korea is Makgeolli. Here you will be able to know about this drink, how can you drink it, what foods are all in all good with and where you can find it in Seoul.

Makgeolli Bars in Seoul

What is Makgeolli?

You may have already known of Makgeolli even if you are not Korean. It is the most consume away alcohol in the country is also famous as Takju which means opaque wine. This is a Korean rice wine with a sweet, tangy, astringent and bitter taste. And It is a happy beverage with about 6 to 7% alcohol, 80% water by volume and white cloudy appearance. Mostly it is unfiltered so it contains lactobacillus and lactic acid bacteria at high levels which is good for digestion, slows the aging process and improves immune response.

Traditionally it is prepared by fermentation of rice with water and Nuruk in a crock for about a week. Nuruk is a cake create all through the barley wheat and rice act as a fermentation starter. It is an amazing drink with simple ingredients and a simple fermentation procedure. If you are interested in how to make this traditional Korean drink, you can book the class for it. Just follow the recipe and you can make your own.

How to serve and drink traditional Korean rice wine?

Makgeolli has a complex flavor profile. With a chalky texture, it can have a dusty fruit floral aroma.

  • Serve it cold in shallow bowls. Do not fill the cup. You can also use small bowls to enjoy this delicious wine.
  • You will see sediments at bottom, for those who like it unmixed can wait for sediments to settle down. But if you like it mixed, gently turn the bottle upside down, again up and enjoy.
  • Pasteurized wines a good for few months but unpasteurized ones have a limited shelf life of one month or it can be two months.
  • You can enjoy this Korean alcohol alone. But you can also pair them with different Korean foods. You will love different combos of Korean foods and makgeolli. Some of them are highlight down here.

Best menu combination with Makgeolli

Makgeolli is easy to try. During scarcer times, it was also famous as a suitable replacement for a meal. It is an amazingly flavor drink that can be pair up with almost every kind of Korean food. But it is best with Korean pancake, Jeon in Korean, and Fried Kimchi with tofu. Here are a few menu combinations with makgeolli famous all around Seoul. You would love them!

Best MAKGEOLLI Bars in Seoul: Traditional Korean Alcoholic Drinks (2)

Jeon (Vegetables, Seafoods, Kimchi)

Unpasteurized tiger Makgeolli is a fragrant drink full of flavors and It is prepared with ingredients of raw rice. The best dish you can pair with it is Jeon, Korean pancake. It is a pan-fried vegetable or seafood dish coat up in flour as well as eggs. A sip of this wonderful drink cuts through the fattiness and richness of the vegetable and seafood and prepares your mouth to have the next bite after gentle cleansing.

Bossam (Steamed Pork)

For making this amazingly delicious dish pork is boil down. Once it boils away completely, it is then fry up on pan to give it firm texture. Fragrant scallions’ fried in olive oil are used up for garnishing. Hongcheon-gang Takju, dry Makgeolli is the best drink to serve all in all along with this dish. It has floating Nuruk particles having 10 to 12% alcohol content which is rather higher than a regular one.

Kimchi and warm tofu

Here comes a classic combo of tofu, kimchi, and makgeolli. Handmade tofu’s are lightly poached and warmed then served with pan-fried kimchi. It is naturally carbonated and rich in flavor. More, the best makgeolli you can have with this dish is Eunjagol Takbaegi in Sangju, Gyeongsangbukdo, southern part of Korea. Here you can have a brewery tour and a class as well.

Crispy beef served with chili garlic sauce

Strips of beef are marinated out in the sesame oil, oyster, and garlic sauce. After some time these marinate forms of strips are coat up with flour mixture made up of rice flour and cornstarch. After coating these are fry to crisp and then mixed with garlic and chili oil. It is first glazed with soy sauce and then chili peppers are added up to it. This sweet and spicy dish along Makgeolli is a perfect combo to try.

Pork Bulgogi and Chamnamul salad

Pork is marinated with soy sauce and ground fruit for some time. It is then grilled on a high flame like Korean BBQ. This delicious meat is then served with Chamnamul, Short-fruitPimpinellaSalad. Green plum gochujang, red chili paste, and sesame oil are used to dress Chamnamul salad. The best drink to serve with it is Sobaeksan Makgeolli which is fermented in about 80 years old vessel. It is an n old fashioned traditional drink having yogurt-like tartness. Try it!

Makgeolli-marinated grilled pork shoulder steaks

Makgeolli is using up to marinate pork shoulder for about 3 hours and 15 minutes. This gives all in all meat tenderness. After the meat is cook up it is served out with Makgeolli. The mild sweetness of this traditional drink that enhances the taste of the pork much more!

Chargrilled pork neck marinated with soy sauce

For making this amazing dish full of flavors pork neck is fried on a pan first after marinating with soy sauce. Charcoal is used to grill, which produces a smoky aroma. And the best drink you can have with this is Baek-Ryun Misty Makgeolli. With a little sweetness, it improves the flavor of the pickled vegetables served along with pork.

Best Makgeolli Bars in Seoul

No doubt Makgeolli is one of the best Korean alcohols one must try during his trip to Korea. It is one of the best traditional Korean drinks. There are a lot of places in Seoul where you can all in all enjoy this rich in flavors drink. Here are some of the best Korean bars I recommend:

Baekgom Makgeolli

If you want to enjoy any kind of Korean drink during your stay in Seoul, Baekgom makgeolli is the best place you should visit. Anything you want you can find it here. Over the past few years, it has become very popular. Here you can enjoy different flavors of drinks. This place is a bit expensive but you will have the best experience there. All of their employees are professional sommeliers. So, no need to worry about what to choose.

  • Address: 39 Apgujeong-ro 48-gil Gangnam-gu Seoul
  • Open hours: Mon. – Thu. 17:00 – 24:00 | Fri. – Sat. 17:00 – 1:30 | Sun. Closed
  • Phone: 02-540-7644
  • Web:

Hanguk Bar Anssi Makgeolli

Situated in Yongsan-gu, it is one of the finest Makgeolli places to visit in Korea. This place gives you a variety of traditional Korean drinks like Takju, Cheongju, and Soju. And it’s picked on Michelin Guide Seoul 2018 with various Korean drinks and seasonal food menus. Furthermore, the atmosphere and interior is loved by many locals and visitors from all around the world. Drink offered here is available in a variety of flavors you can all in all choose the one that suits your taste.

  • Address: 3 Hoenamu-ro Yongsan-gu Seoul
  • Open hours: Sun. – Thu. 18:00 – 24:00 | Fri. – Sat. 18:00 – 01:00
  • Phone: 010-9965-5112
  • Web:

Sanjang in Hongdae

Here comes another place to visit in Seoul for enjoying your favorite drink makgeolli. Not only it is the best thing about this place, but people also love the food here. Kimchi pancake, spicy rice cake, and spicy pork belly are the most delightful dishes over here. The environment is excellent for friends and families. As the atmosphere and mood are good, Decedents of the suns, a wonderful Korean drama have also been filmed out here in Sanjang.

  • Address: 42 Wausan-ro Mapo-gu Seoul
  • Open hours: Mon. – Thu. 17:00 – 03:00 | Fri. – Sun. 17:00 – 04:00
  • Phone: 02-322-3637

Neulin Maeul Brewery Gangnam Branch

Having three other branches in different places, Hongdae, Gangnam, Euljiro is famous as one of the best places to visit in Seoul. You will have the best makgeolli experience seeing the brewery and tasting seasonal Makgeollies. It served at this bar is free from artificial sweeteners or preservatives giving you the natural flavor. They use all in all local agricultural products to give you the best drink. In addition, Neulin Maeul Brewery will serve you unlimited draft Makgeolli on 10,000 KRW for two hours! If you are a Korean food and drink lover, you must go!

  • Address: 7 Seocho-daero 73-gil Seocho-gu Seoul
  • Open hours: Mon. – Sat. 17:00 – 01:00 | Sun. 16:00 – 23:00
  • Phone: 02-587-7720
  • Web:

Yumongmin Nomad Bar

Situated near Anguk station it is one of the best bars to visits if you are in love with makgeolli. Yumongmin nomad bar has asserted itself as one of the best bars of Seoul. It inspires all by all in all the era of a speakeasy with a modern touch. This place takes a presentation seriously and leaves a strong impact on visitors.

  • Address: 13-1 Insadong 16-gil Jongno-gu Seoul
  • Open hours: 11:00 – 02:00
  • Phone: 02-733-1171


For a person who loves to travel, Korea is a visit-worthy country due to a lot of traditional and modern attractions over there. As a result Makgeolli is one of the best traditional drinks in Korea. You cannot miss it during your stay in Korea. So if you are planning to travel to Korea make sure to try this amazingly delicious Korean drink. There are a lot of bars in Seoul where you can have this drink; you can also enjoy it with your food. In this article most of the good bars in Seoul are highlight down, you can visit any of them. Enjoy your trip to Korea.

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Best MAKGEOLLI Bars in Seoul: Traditional Korean Alcoholic Drinks (2024)


Is makgeolli high in alcohol? ›

As a low proof drink of six to nine percent alcohol by volume, it is often considered a "communal beverage" rather than hard liquor. In Korea, makgeolli is often unpasteurized, and the wine continues to mature in the bottle.

What do you drink with makgeolli? ›

Traditionally, the beverage is served out of a kettle and poured into rounded, shallow bowls to help prevent the rice from separating. A bottle Hana Makgeolli's Takju alongside a traditional makgeolli bowl. For centuries, makgeolli has been the go-to drink for farmers.

Is drinking makgeolli good for you? ›

Makgeolli is very nutritious and contains 80% water and 6–8% alcohol. Makgeolli is unfiltered and thus contains high levels of lactic acid and lactobacillus bacteria, at the level found in yoghurt. It also contains dietary fibre. This aids digestion, improves immune function and slows the aging process 41, 46.

What do Koreans eat with makgeolli? ›

Makgeolli is also known as a rainy day drink, where it is often paired with Korean pancakes. Snacks to eat with makgeolli: Pajeon (파전, or Korean scallion pancakes), Dubu-kimchi (두부김치, or stir-fried tofu and kimchi), golbaengi-muchim (골뱅이무침, or moon snail salad), kimchi, Dak-galbi (닭갈비, or spicy stir-fried chicken).

Can I drink makgeolli everyday? ›

This Korean alcohol can be served as an everyday drink, but also on special occasions like weddings. It's best served cold. If you're drinking it from a bottle, remember it's fizzy.

What is Korea's favorite alcohol drink? ›

Soju is a clear, low-alcohol, distilled spirit that is the most popular liquor in Korea.

Do you drink makgeolli hot or cold? ›

Makgeolli should always be served chilled. Drinking vessels tend to be on the smaller side – usually bowls made of ceramics, glass and even nickel silver.

Is makgeolli stronger than soju? ›

Makgeolli, or “rice wine” in English, is thick and sweet and far less alcoholic than soju. The alcohol content is a good deal lower than soju, hanging out around 6-7%.

Can makgeolli get you drunk? ›

Will Makgeolli make you drunk? Yes, it can. With its smooth, milky flavour you may drink an entire bottle without feeling the effects. But the alcohol content is building up pleasantly in your body, so consume in moderation.

Does makgeolli go bad after opening? ›

Fortunately there is no real expiration date on our unopened wines, which are stable because of their high ABV and because our current products undergo pasteurization. Once opened, our wines will remain stable for approximately two weeks, assuming that they are resealed and kept in the fridge.

How long does makgeolli last in fridge? ›

If makgeolli is fresh (unpasteurized) it will have a shelf life of anywhere between 10 days and 3 months. That means the yeast is still alive and digesting the sugars in the bottle, so yes it absolutely must be kept in the fridge.

Should I shake makgeolli? ›

Makgeolli has an opaque white appearance due to the delicate rice sediment remaining in the drink. The sediment greatly enhances the flavor, body and aroma of the drink, so be sure to give Makgeolli a quick stir or shake before consuming!

Can you mix makgeolli with Sprite? ›

The wine can be sipped on its own or mixed into co*cktails. One of the most popular combinations is Makgeolli and Sprite.

What does makgeolli do for your skin? ›

Mask Makgeolli Brightening Mask Sheet contains Korean rice wine Makgolli that will make your skin radiant and healthy. Herbal ingredients nourish the skin with moisture and nutrients. A high quality natural rice extract helps lighten the tone of the face and prevents the formation of age spots, lightens existing ones.

What does makgeolli taste like? ›

Fruity, sweet and slightly sour, this unfiltered traditional rice wine has gained popularity in recent years. Makgeolli is consumed straight or used as a flavorful base for trendy co*cktails, desserts and more.

Do you heat up makgeolli? ›

Makgeolli is always served chilled, sometimes even partially frozen. The traditional presentation is to ladle it out of a clay crock or pour it from a brass kettle into shallow bowls or cups. Before drinking, gently mix the liquid, because the rice usually settles down to the bottom.

How do you store makgeolli after opening? ›

You should keep most makgeolli in the fridge. Pasteurised options may last longer than unpasteurised bottles, but once opened, you should really drink any makgeolli shortly after, within the day or next few days. Fresh makgeolli will continue to ferment in the fridge, changing in flavour over time.

Is makgeolli high in calories? ›

Compared to other type of liquor, Makkoli is a well-being drink with less calories and rich nutrients. Based on 100ml, Makkoli produces 42kcal while having approx. 110kcal for Soju and 83kcal for wine.

What is the national drink of Korea? ›

The national drink of Korea, soju is the best-selling liquor in the world by volume, and sales have only been growing in recent years. Long underrated in America, soju is finally starting to gain traction stateside.

What is the best drink in South Korea? ›

10 of the most popular drinks you'll find in South Korea
  • Dalgona. While Squid Game may have revived it's popularity, Dalgona remains a staple caramel favourite of South Korea. ...
  • Sikhye. ...
  • Bubble Tea. ...
  • Milkis. ...
  • Boricha. ...
  • Soju. ...
  • Banana Milk. ...
  • Sujeonggwa.
17 Apr 2022

What are Koreans always drinking? ›

One reason drinking is so popular in Korea is simply because alcohol is so cheap — soju is almost always the beverage of choice, followed closely by beer.

How fattening is makgeolli? ›

Health Benefits of Makgeolli. Contains at least 10 amino acids –some of which are beneficial for your skin! Low in calories! 46 kcal per 100 ml (almost half as much as wine!)

Can you bring makgeolli on a plane? ›

If you have tried Korean rice wine (makgeolli in Korean) and wish to have some more at home or in your home country, you should come and take this course! As you may know, you cannot bring bottled rice wine in the airplane as it is a fermented wine.

Can we mix soju and makgeolli? ›

Soju Makgeolli

It's the ultimate Korean co*cktail that brings together two traditional Korean liquors, soju and makgeolli, a milky rice wine with a slightly sweet and tangy taste.

Can makgeolli mix with soju? ›

Relax and enjoy your weekend with a fruity co*cktail made with soju and makgeolli, two very popular South Korean alcoholic beverages!

Is makgeolli a probiotic? ›

With significant amounts of lactobacilli, or lactic acid bacteria, the milky opaque liquor is probiotic, which means it's good for digestion and bolstering the immune system.

Is Korean rice wine healthy? ›

Lactic acid bacteria also help strengthen the immune system. In conclusion, Korean rice wine is an ancestral beverage with many beneficial health properties.

How do you know if makgeolli is spoiled? ›

Fresh makgeolli currently only has a shelf life of around 30 days due to the fermentation process. Any longer than that and it starts to taste quite sour and bitter…. but not in a good way.

What does makgeolli taste good with? ›

What to eat with Makgeolli? The ideal and classic Makgeolli food pairing is with Korean savoury pancake made with chives (BUCHU JEON) or green onions (PAJEON). In Korea, it's said that rainy days were made to enjoy Jeon (Savoury Pancake) and Makegeolli.

How do I make makgeolli sweeter? ›

Optionally, you can dilute the finished Makgeolli by mixing with water (1/2 amount of total wine) and added sugar (about 2 Tbs for 1 batch using 1 kg rice). This will produce a drink similar to ones sold at stores. Less thick and with similar alcohol content of 6% and sweeter flavor.

How do Korean keep their skin clear? ›

When it comes to skincare, Cho says Korean women use “natural skin brighteners such as rice extracts, vitamin C, and licorice, as well as exfoliators. For stubborn brown spots, they will visit the dermatologist to lighten the brown spots using lasers.”

Can you get drunk off makgeolli? ›

Will Makgeolli make you drunk? Yes, it can. With its smooth, milky flavour you may drink an entire bottle without feeling the effects. But the alcohol content is building up pleasantly in your body, so consume in moderation.

How strong is makgeolli? ›

Commercially sold makgeolli contains around 6-8% alcohol, whereas traditional brews contained about 12-18%. This is because most makgeolli doesn't travel well. The fermentation that gives it the complexity in flavor also makes it literally explosive when packaged.

Does rice wine count as alcohol? ›

Rice wine is a popular alcoholic beverage used for both drinking and cooking. In Japan, it's known as sake and the country's national beverage. Other versions used for cooking include mirin from Japan and huangjiu from China ( 1 ).

How long does makgeolli last once opened? ›

Once opened, our wines will remain stable for approximately two weeks, assuming that they are resealed and kept in the fridge.

Do you put makgeolli in fridge? ›

If makgeolli is fresh (unpasteurized) it will have a shelf life of anywhere between 10 days and 3 months. That means the yeast is still alive and digesting the sugars in the bottle, so yes it absolutely must be kept in the fridge.

Is soju a rice wine? ›

Soju vs.

Sake is a rice wine (though it's actually brewed like beer), while soju is a distilled beverage. Koreans have their own rice wine, makgeolli, which is an analog to Japanese sake, while Japan has shochu, which is similar to soju. ("Soju" and "shochu" are even written with the same Chinese characters.)

Does rice wine give you a hangover? ›

Sake, like all other types of alcohol, will give you hangover if you drink enough of it. Unfortunately, it's not true that sake doesn't give you a hangover.

Is drinking a bottle of wine a day alcoholic? ›

Drinking a bottle of wine a day may rapidly increase the likelihood of physical and chemical alcohol addiction developing. Drinking a bottle per day equates to approximately 9 units per day or 63 units per week, far in excess of UK NHS recommended guidelines (14 units per week)[1].

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