> Korean Food top10 > Juntongju >History
of Traditional Liquors
Goguryeo has advanced brewage skills in its era as it is
even called as a country of fermentation. They already used
malt for brewage and Goguryeo’s brewage skills were
introduced to China. So the famous liquor called “Gok-a-ju
(grain embryo liquor)” was made in China. Naknang
brewage method that inherited the brewage skills of Goguryeo
was settled down in the Silla age.
Susubori who is respected as a god of liquor in Japan is
a citizen of Baekje, and it is said that true liquor was
started to be brewed in Japan through the transmission of
malt and the method of brewage by Susubori.
Based on the old book ‘Samgukyusa’, there is
a record that King Taejong Muyeol consumed 54 liters of
rice and 10 pheasants of foods for a day. Around the time
in the United Silla, various kinds of brewed wines were
developed and the practice of drinking Cheongju (clear strained
rice wine) was popular among the society of high-class people.
The method of brewage of grain wines were fully developed
before Goryeo age and in the early part of Goryeo age the
brewage skills and the kinds of wines such as Cheongjus,
Takjus and Gamjus (sweet rice drink) were diversified.
Goryeo age was the time when the basic forms for three major
Korean liquors such as Takju, Yakju and Soju were completed.
Famous liquors in Joseon age is as many as 300 kinds but
the representative one among them were Baekhaju, Samhaeju,
Ehwaju, Cheonggamju, Buuiju, Hyangonju, Yaksanchun and Hosanchun
and a lot of Sojus were consumed as well.
Characteristics of Traditional Liquors
Rice wine (Yakju)
As rice wine uses the malt of wheat, it is alkaline
wine with unique fruit flavor originated from the
ingredient contained in the cortex of raw material.
Unique and natural sour taste of traditional rice
wine has the efficacy of promoting appetite.
and Liquor taken at meal times
Liquor taken at meal times are in most cases not
more than appropriate quantity and therefore it will
be a desirable food culture to have liquor taken at
meal time as far as the liquor taken are not more
than appropriate quantity.
give neither headache nor hangover after drinking.
Traditional rice wines that used good quality malt
and was fully fermented do not give headache or hangover.
Especially, the rice wine such as Baekhaju which used
raw rice fermentation method gives no headache at
Soju which used
to be used as medicine
Soju is liquor with very high degree of alcohol.
When King Munjong of Joseon Dynasty died, King Danjong
was very tired and his body became very weak to act
as a mourner for a long time. At that time, King Danjong
could recover after taking Soju, which means that
at that time Soju was used as a medicine.