Màkku’s makgeolli just isn’t the identical. “Synthetic flavors are nonexistent in Màkku,” says Pak. “You’re alleged to style the contemporary substances.” Certainly, Màkku has an earthy richness that reveals an unmistakable freshness.
Màkku is cheerfully candy however not cloying, and at an approachable 6 p.c alcohol by quantity, it is a bit of stronger than a beer. There’s a tanginess to Màkku, in addition to a yogurty earthiness and velvety consistency that balances it out. It is available in a model with no added flavors, however extra widespread are the flavored varieties—passionfruit, blueberry, and mango—which might be made with pure cane sugar and contemporary fruit purees. The purees give the usually white makgeolli completely different pastel hues that are showcased when the drink is poured right into a glass—one thing to look at for when you resolve to not drink it straight from the can.
Earlier than founding Sool, the corporate that makes Màkku, Pak labored for Anheuser-Busch, the beer business chief in the US. The corporate would have her journey the world to pinpoint tendencies in natural and fermented drinks. Pak says the job was completely aligned with what she already does whereas touring. “All I love to do is uncover cool bars. Every time I journey, it is round like, what do they drink right here? It wasn’t a lot about nightlife, nevertheless it was about discovering the beverage tradition.”
Whereas visiting South Korea, some mates took her to a makgeolli bar. Rising up in a Korean-American family in a largely Korean neighborhood in Flushing, Queens, Pak’s major notion of makgeolli was that it was one thing older individuals loved. The TV reveals she watched would present grandparents sipping on it as they rambled about makgeolli being the key to dwelling a protracted life.
So whereas going to a makgeolli bar was not on her itinerary, as a beverage connoisseur, she was intrigued. And that have modified her life. It was at these bars the place Pak realized “there’s a lot extra to makgeolli.”
“I feel it’s simply not as large now as a result of individuals simply don’t learn about it,” she says. “It deserves a spot out there.”
She describes how, round 2010, makgeolli gross sales began declining in Korea, main the Korean authorities to incentivize shoppers to drink the product in order that the historic custom wouldn’t fizzle out. In newer years nonetheless, youthful Koreans have been consuming it on their very own volition, even devoting their careers to it. Pak estimates the common age of a Korean makgeolli brewer is now round 30, roughly half of what it as soon as was.