|▲ Joeunsul CEO Yeahleong Lee|
(PowerKorea) You might pop up with wine or whisky when asked about hottest booze in the South Korean liquor market at the moment. If you are a little more sensitive, however, you might pop up with traditional booze. According to a record, Koreans have made around one thousand kinds of liquor. This profitable market shrunk rapidly during the colonial era as Japan banned brewing at home. According to the 2020 Liquor Industry Survey of the The Sool, the amount of output has been reduced since 2016 but the sales of traditional Korean liquor have increased rapidly every year. This is due to the change of people’s attitude that traditional Korean liquor is a sophisticated choice.
Introduced by Joeunsul, Oyangju is made through five times of ripening. It is strictly followed a traditional method that has passed down thousands of years from our ancestors. Traditional liquors take different paths according to ingredients, recipe and ripening period. The more tempering the yeast has the deeper and richer taste and smell it has. This long process is called ‘waiting’ from which master Korean liquor makers obtain mastery result. “Hard boiled rice, water and yeast are ideally mixed during which the liquor is added four times more. This additional liquor activates microorganism which helps makers to get better quality” says Yeahleong Lee, CEO of Joeunsul. Lee started liquor making as a hobby in 2010 but soon fell in love with it. People around her praised her talent and she was much encouraged. She eventually established Joeunsul.
“Patience makes Oyangju taste delicious.
This much delicious liquor should be shared with people.”
Patience is the secrete of Oyangju Chunbihyang
Unlike other traditional liquors that are made within 20 days, Oyangju Chunbihyang takes more than 6 months: 2 weeks to 1 month fermentation, 3 months low temperature ripening and 3 months lower temperature ripening. The first grade sticky and non-glutinous rice used in this process come from Pyeongtaek and no artificial sweeteners and preservatives are added. Oyangju Chunbihyang is tender, deep and clean in taste and profound and mysterious in flavor.
Taek is borrowed from Pyeongtaek and it means a beneficial liquor of the city. Taeki is a grain wine made with local ingredients. It is less murky than normal rice wine and has no carbonic acid which makes the taste smooth and clean. Other notable liquors of Joeunsul include Sulyaepda and Chunbihyang Hwaju. The former is rich in colors and fruity flavor with a good mix of sweet, acidic and full body finish. It is ideal to enjoy in the summer or to share by a couple. Chunbihyang Hwaju, on the other hand, is the premium distilled liquor of 43% and 53% in alcohol percentage. You can feel a scent of flower and fruit and deep and rich taste.
Blue House banquet drink
Joeunsul has won the grand prize at the Korean Sool Award numerous times. Proven its quality, taste and recognition, the liquors served on the table at the meeting between Moon and heads of the five parties held in November 2019 at the Blue House as well as on the table of the Asean-Rok Summit held in Busan the same year.
Spreading excellence of Korean liquors to the world
Despite her busy daily schedule, Lee is carrying on her study of brewing and distilling at a graduate school and fostering talented future brewers. “It is my goal to spread excellence of Korean liquors to the world. As part of this effort, I’m currently working on liquor made of mugunghwa, rose of Sharon. I hope Koreans will be proud of our traditional liquors that have thousands years of history.”
PowerKorea is an official partner of Herald Corporation. The magazine is distributed to the KOTRA business centers in the world. PowerKorea publishes latest news of government, Samsung, Hyundai and LG and endeavors to serve a platform to engage with people around the world.
신태섭 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org