Ewhaju Marks an 800-Year-Old Korean Tradition

Going all the way back to December of 2015, Groove Magazine published Dave Hazzan’s article about one of my favorite makgeolli variants—ewhaju! Honestly, if you get a chance to try this, yes, it will be weird, yes, you might not like the first taste or two (or three), but I urge you to give ewhaju a shot. From the article:

“Ewhaju is both a Korean alcohol you eat with a spoon, and a mystery rice wine no one has heard of. Despite being over 800 years old, ewhaju is unknown to almost everyone in this hard-drinking country. It tastes, looks, and feels like yogurt more than anything else. It’s a creamy, off-white color, sweet, fermented and a bit chalky. It is very similar to makgeolli but much more heavily concentrated.

Ehwaju can be found at Baekseju Maeul, a spacious, well-known second floor bar in Jongno that looks down on the 14th century Bosingak belfry. It specializes in Korean wine and is one of the only places in Seoul you can find ewhaju. (One of the others, Tricycle in Hwajeong, was closed around the time of this writing.)”

In contrast with the article, I’ve found that quite a few of the upper-end joomaks have ewhaju even though it’s not on their menu. Even if they don’t sell it, it’s worth asking to see if they have anything they’ll let you taste.

Read the whole Groove Magazine article here.




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