Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Plum Alternative

I became a bit of a beer snob while living in Seattle. It was hard not to. Microbreweries in abundance with all kinds of innovative, delicious brews on tap, beer that actually made you feel buzzed and satisfied after one instead of bloated and still sober after three or four. Then in D.C. we could get Dogfish Head. Here in Korea we basically have the Hydra of Max, Cass, Hite, and occasionally O.B. - all heads of the same boring snake (M thinks Hite is the best but I honestly can't tell the difference).

It says "tea" but it's actually more like a concentrate
However, the other night we made an incredible discovery. I had had M go to the store to look for "meshil" (basically, plum syrup/concentrate) for a seaweed banchan I was making that I learned at Cheonjangsa. Although it took a bit of work, (not as straightforward as I thought it would be), he came back with a can of 梅丹("medan" or "Plum tea" in English) which worked just fine for my purposes.

Since I only needed a bit for the banchan, we had discussed using the rest for a drink mixer - mixing the rest it with soju, which seemed natural, but then during dinner he was inspired to splash a bit of it in his cup of Hite - shades of what we used to get at Domku - and the resulting concoction transformed watery mass market beer into a slightly tart, fruity, refreshing libation. After trying that, I don't see any reason to go back to drinking plain beer here anymore.

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