What Is Korean Rice Wine Makkoli?  

Makkoli is created using cooked sweet rice and nuruk, a dry fermented cereal cake that acts as a starter, encouraging mold growth and the production of sugars, which then lead to alcohol.   

Makkoli, or makgeolli, is an unfiltered Korean rice wine with a murky, milky look.   

The low-alcohol wine is effervescent (lightly sparkling), with a sweet-tart flavor character.  

It is one of Korea's oldest alcoholic beverages, long regarded a farmer's drink, and is usually relatively inexpensive. Because of the natural probiotics, makkoli has a limited shelf life.   

While makkoli has yet to find its footing in Western markets, soju has become a popular drink at Korean restaurants and bars worldwide.   

It's commonly available in liquor stores, and although it's another traditional Korean rice wine, it's rather distinct.  

Soju has a greater alcohol content, generally more than 15%, and is filtered producing a transparent, light-bodied, yet boozier drink.   

It lacks the creamy texture and natural probiotics of makkoli, but has a longer shelf life.   

Soju and makkoli both taste fantastic with Korean food, but soju does not have the same calming effect on spice.  

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