The Magical Korean Elixir Called Makgeolli

This magic sauce is called makgeolli and is a native and staple alcoholic drink in almost every Korean’s diet. This milky colored carbonated rice wine has a slightly sweet, smooth taste that you simply cannot get enough of.


The drink has a lower alcohol content at 6% (wine is 12%, soju is 25%) but we always feel a nice, light buzz even after sharing one bottle. Like a lot of Korean foods, makgeolli is made through a fermentation process. This fermentation process is popular in Korea and adds a lot of nutritional value. Believe it or not, makgeolli has many nutritional benefits!

Sounds too good to be true right? See the list of benefits below!

Health Benefits of Makgeolli 

  • Contains at least 10 amino acids –some of which are beneficial for your skin!
  • Low in calories! 46 kcal per 100 ml (almost half as much as wine!)
  • High in dietary fiber and has gastrointestinal benefits
  • Contains more farnesol than beer or wine (helps prevent tumors & anti-bacterial properties)
  • Is said to slow down the aging process!
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • A good source of protein
  • Helps with menopausal disorders
  • Contains Vitamin B & C
  • Contains bacteria that fights inflammation or cancer in the intestines
Pro Tip
 Make sure you shake your makgeolli properly to mix the sediments from the bottom, but not too hard or it will explode! 

We love this drink and now that we know these benefits we drink at ease! Share with us your favorite makgeolli experience below!

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  • Carl Hedinger

    Thanks for giving me yet another reason to drink Makgeolli! Not that I need much justification, it’s delicious. Great post!

    • Haha no problem. Thanks for the comment and enjoy the Magkeolli!

    • haha there is never much reason needed to drink Magkeolli but it is nice to know its apparently nutritious. Thanks for the comment!

  • qiranger

    Great write-up on one of my favorite brews.

    • Thanks for the comment. We switched from soju to Magkeolli after we started hiking and haven’t looked back.

    • Thanks for the comment, after hiking we ditched soju for this nutritious nectar!

  • Love makgeolli! It’s my Korean sul (alcohol) of choice. I’m a big fan of those makgeolli rooms where they give you big bowls of the stuff and you order a bunch of Korean bar food. Great post!

    • Definitely a lot of fun to get all the food for just buying a bowl of makgeolli. Thanks for the comment!

  • LifeOutside of Texas

    I’m going to be the unpopular one and say that I’m not a fan of makgeolli! I think I’d like it if I tried one of the flavored ones, but I definitely don’t like it plain. Really cool to see all of the health benefits laid out like that though!

    • Haha well there is a relatively new one that is blackberry and raspberry that is pretty fruity! But you are right the health benefits make this drink pretty awesome!

      • qiranger

        Well, as Korean liquors go. Makgeolli is still my number 2. Give me some tasty distilled spirits anytime. The only problem, is that the good soju is a pricy as cheap whiskey – and I just love whiskey so much more.

        • I’m a big whiskey fan as well, but when in rome! It also fits our tight budget and is something we both like.

          • qiranger

            I hear that. I’ve been blessed over the years with some excellent care packages from viewers and friends.

          • Oh man that’s awesome. I am jealous.

          • qiranger

            Yeah, If you’re looking for a great whiskey bar, the Conrad in the IFC Mall area is great. Awesome selection. But each glass will run you W30,000 or more. However, the view from the 37th floor is great. Been there twice on company trips. Fantastic.

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