Saké for Beginners: Makgeolli Rice Wine

Other than the presumption that saké is more desirable to make than makgeolli, it’s always pleasing to see makgeolli get international exposure. Amie Watson’s article in Fine Dining Lovers outlines one recipe for making your own home brew. The only curiosity is the initial rice preparation: while I’ve been told steaming rice is the typical method, Watson suggests boiling the rice. I believe boiled rice recipes exist elsewhere but I’d be curious to hear if anyone else has experimented with them. From the article:

“If you’ve ever dreamed of making saké at home (we’ve written about it here) but been intimidated by the steps, equipment and precision required, then Makgeolli recipe is for you.

This Korean unfiltered rice alcohol is creamy and sweet, much like nigori saké. It’s fermented, full of healthy bacteria and tastes a little like yogurt, despite being dairy-free. It’s good for simple sipping and can even replace saké in recipes – think nasu dengaku miso eggplant and restaurant Nobu‘s famous black cod. Plus, thanks to its natural bubbles, mixologists are using it as a sparkling wine substitution in their cocktail creations; two-Michelin-Star restaurant Jungsik in New York mixes it with soju and Korean raspberry fruit wine as a drink pairing for the restaurant’s lauded tasting menu.”

Read the whole Fine Dining Lovers article, including Watson’s makgeolli recipe, here.


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