KOREAN NAME: 전주 모주
REVIEW: Moju, according to one site I read, is a variety of makgeolli that is made by boiling the liquor with a variety of different ingredients but the most common are ginger, jujube, ginseng, and cinnamon. As you can imagine, the boiling process causes a good deal of the booze to evaporate, leaving moju with an alcohol content of around 1.5%. (Of course, this depends on who’s making the brew; I bought a homemade bottle off one lady who claimed there was no booze at all.) Anyway, because of its low alcohol content, Koreans consider it to be a good hangover cure. According to the label:
“Legendary liquor Jeonju Moju, aromatic alcohol brewed with Mother’s care, is a low-alcohol wellbeing drink for everyone with its soft and sweet taste along with natural fragrance of traditional oriental medicine.”
Jeonju Moju (or, Jeonju Mozu as you find on half of the company’s bottles for some inscrutable reason) immediately made me recall the first time I tried jujube tea. It is sweeter, granted, but the same prickly cinnamon and ginger flavors are there as is, of course, the earthy, raisin-like tang of the jujube. It’s typically served cold but, because it’s winter and I was craving some jujube tea, I heated it up and it was fabulous!
My one criticism is that Jeonju Moju uses aspartame, making it quite sweet. This means the brew is best in small doses, like the 500 ml bottle (as opposed to the 1200 ml bottle). However, heating it seemed to bring forth a bit more of the sour flavors.
You probably won’t get drunk – and I am suspect about its efficacy against hangovers – but Jeonju Moju (or any moju for that matter) is well worth trying.
Body: Thick. You should give the bottle a shake to make sure everything is mixed well. And don’t be alarmed: Jeonju Moju is a chocolaty brown.
Smell: This moju does not have an offensive or overpowering smell but it is quite strong in comparison to makgeolli. The cinnamon and jujube scents really stand out and it reminded me very much of raisin cinnamon bread.
BREWERY: Jeonju Brewery (전주주조)
ORIGIN: Jeollabuk-do, Jeonju (전라북도, 전주시)
PURCHASED: Jeollabuk-do, Jeonju (전라북도, 전주시)
AVAILABILITY: This bottle is incredibly easy to find in Jeonju, especially in Hanok Village (한옥 마울).
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 1.5%
INGREDIENTS: purified water, imported rice, imported koji, sugar, ginger, jujube, cinnamon, 개량 nuruk, extracted enzymes, aspartame
VOLUME: 500 ml (also comes in a 1200 ml bottle)
PASTEURIZED: Yes (shelf-life of 6 months)