Korean Cocktails, Teas, and Drinks

A list of restorative, refreshing, and delicious Korean drinks to enjoy and make. Some of these are traditional Korean teas and others are contemporary cocktails and new takes on old classics. Cheers!

Koreans can and do make tea out of everything from fruit to herbs to rice. The excellent thing about these teas is that you can enjoy them piping hot, soothingly warm, or iced cold.

  • 01 of 08
    Bottle of plum wine
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    Maesil Ju is a traditional Korean liqueur made out of green maesil plums. Sometimes also called plum wine, this liqueur is sweet, tart and refreshing on ice in the summer. You can enjoy maesil ju (green plum wine) as a dessert wine, on ice as an aperitif, mixed into a cocktail, or as an accompaniment to your meal. There are also Chinese and Japanese versions of this liquor or wine, but the Korean “plum wine” is made with soju and honey.

  • 02 of 08

    Cinnamon and Persimmon Punch (Soo Jung Gwa)

    Cinnamon Punch
    Naomi Imatome

    A refreshing, slightly spicy Korean drink that is good both hot and cold, Soo Jung Gwa can also be served as a dessert drink.

  • 03 of 08
    Woman mixing champagne with cocktail
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    Yuja, the Korean citron fruit, has a zingy tart flavor that combines elements of mandarin oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. Although yuja chung, the Korean yuzu marmalade, is traditionally used for making hot tea, it can add vitality and contemporary glamor to mixed drink cocktails.

  • 04 of 08
    Homemade soy milk
    Soy milk. Getty Images

    Homemade soy milk has a nutty flavor and is easy to make. Although I've always preferred the taste of homemade soy milk over the commercially-produced version, I did enjoy the ease of store-bought soy milk since my kids didn't seem to mind the flavor. These days, though, with the drastic price increase in soy milk and the news that some of the "organic" soy milk is not actually made from all-organic soybeans, I've started making batches at home. Besides being easy, you can...MORE also control the texture and sweetness of the milk you are making at home.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Ginger Tea (Saengang Cha)

    Hot lemon-ginger infusion with honey
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    Refreshing on a hot summer day or soothing on a cold winter one, this sweet ginger tea is full of nutrients and vitamins. Wonderful chilled, this tea has also been used for centuries as a natural cold remedy. If you are making a warm version during the winter and don't have access to the pears, then you can use dried persimmons, a couple tablespoons of honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Ginger is also used in Asia to aid digestion and many other ailments.

  • 06 of 08
    Brown rice tea
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    A popular Korean grain "tea", Sungyung is just well-roasted rice steeped in hot water. It has a nutty, smoky flavor. This recipe makes a large batch of roasted rice so that you can have a cup of sungyung whenever you feel like it. If you just want to make a few cups of tea, you can also just fry some rice in a dry (no oil) pan.

  • 07 of 08
    Yogurt Soju
    Naomi Imatome Yun

    A yogurt cocktail might sound crazy if you're new to soju, but yogurt soju is popular in Korea and all over Asia. Both yogurt and soju go well with the fiery aspects of Korean cuisine, so it makes sense that they'd be mixed by Koreans. But be careful, as the most common complaint about yogurt soju is that it's so easy to drink that you're drunk before you know it.

  • 08 of 08

    Sparkling Ginger Cocktail

    Close-Up Of Ginger Raspberry Cocktail Served On Table
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    Ginger has a nice bite and some heat, which makes it an interesting addition to cocktails. Try this ginger cocktail, which is sparkling, refreshing and aromatic. Although this is not a traditional Korean drink, both soju and ginger are important and essential parts of Korean cuisine. Food and medicine have also always been closely linked in Korean culture. Since ginger aids digestion and cranberry juice has proven antibacterial and infection-fighting properties, this modern Korean cocktail was...MORE mixed in the true spirit of Korean culinary tradition.