Makgeolli, also known as Makkoli or Makuly(takju) (and referred to in English as “Korean rice wine”), is the oldest alcoholic beverage in Korea. It is made from grains such as sweet rice, regular rice, barley, wheat and malt, which gives it a milky, off-white color, and sweetness. It is made by fermenting grains and mixed with water, and is about 6–8% alcohol by volume.
Aside from the alcohol, the bulk of Makgeolli is pure nutrition. Other than the 80% water and 6-8% alcohol, Makgeolli consists of 2% protein, 0.8% carbohydrates, 0.1% fat and 10% dietary fiber, along with vitamins B and C, lactobacilli and yeast.
Makgeolli is unfiltered and contains high levels of lactic acid and lactobacillus bacteria 500 times the level in yogurt and dietary fiber. This helps to aid digestion, improve immune function and slow the ageing process.
Makgeolli is traditionally drank in bowls amongst farmers. Recently, it has gained popularity in cities in Korea and Japan, especially amongst the younger generations.
Mildly sweet, tart and sometimes fizzy, and with its relatively low alcohol content, it can be sipped on its own or swirled into cocktails. It is best served chilled.
Health benefits of Makgeolli explained here: