Maesil-Ju Who?

By Sarah Wong

I occasionally enjoy trying new kinds of alcohol from Korea, especially soju. Despite the high alcohol content, I find that the taste isn’t as harsh as many other types of alcohol. Another type of Korean alcohol that carries this characteristic is maesil-ju, which translates to plum wine.

Maesil-ju is best enjoyed chilled while eating sashimi or rice cake. Alternatively, Korean plum wine can be enjoyed before or after a meal.

Although it has “wine” in its name, maesil-ju is more like a sweetened plum-infused soju. Maesil-ju is lighter, fruitier, and sweeter than the soju that it is made out of; yet, remains incredibly smooth—much smoother than regular soju.

One would think that making alcohol is tedious, but this is not the case for making maesil-ju. The process is pretty much foolproof. Naomi Imatome-Yun from The Spruce Eats shares her recipe for making your own supply of maesil-ju, all you need is green plums (maesil), brown sugar, honey, and two bottles of soju. As with any alcohol, it takes time. Although the recipe says to wait about 100 days, many wait as long as a year until they break open their homemade maesil-ju.

Would you consider making your own maesil-ju at home? As always, don’t forget to drink responsibly!

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