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Posts Tagged ‘Drink Drank K-Drunk’

Anna's not so sure about this gamePhoto by Andre Francisco

If you ever meet up with us in Seoul, we will probably be late. But one of the few times we were early was this weekend when we met some people to see a Rock Tigers show in Hongdae. The lure of people watching and lack of open container laws in Korea inspired us to create a drinking game that we now pass on to you for when we, or anyone else, is late meeting up in Hongdae.

First, go grab a bottle or two of your favorite beer from a Family Mart. Then go to the top of exit 5 of the Hongik University station. There is a concrete wall next to the staircase that is perfect for leaning on and resting your beers. If you stand there you can look over the wall and down onto the staircase. As most people know, despite being a hugely popular station, the Hongik stop has only a few small staircases so they are usually packed with people walking in slow columns to get up and down. This makes for great people watching with plenty of subjects.

Lots of subjects
Photo by Andre Francisco

The Rules
1 drink for:
-Non Koreans
-Person carrying a guitar (one drink per guitar)

2 drinks for:
-Foreigners with fake blond hair
-Hipster foreigners
-Frat boy foreigners
-Korean’s with hair or clothes so outrageous you forget to watch for all the other rules

Finish your drink when your friends arrive.

It’s a great way to kill the time, but be prepared for lots of strange double takes from people on the stairs. Feel free to change and adapt the rules to your liking, and if you have any suggestions leave them in the comments.

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Yes, we have been away for a while.

My family visited over Christmas break.
We have been working on a new, non-food-centric website.
The days are shorter, the nights are longer, and sleep has been a priority.

But we are back and to get us back up and rolling here is a silly, little video involving South Korea’s latest craze from infants to ajummas: Tamiflu.

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Recently we’ve spent two weekends roaming around Sinchon looking for food and LP bars, and we’ve noticed more strange and interesting bar names than anywhere else. At every block another neon sign makes me tilt my head to the side and question how a bar would get that name. Sometimes it might be a mistranslation or a joke Koreans might not get and other times it’s just wonderfully straightforward like Beer O’ Clock.

All photos by Andre Francisco

Love Making Theme Hof
I wonder how strong of a theme we’re talking about.

Judas OR Sabbath
You decide.

Oregon Trail
Loved that game. I wonder if you get dysentery from eating at the bar or if you have to leave one of your party behind. I just hope my wagon wheel doesn’t get stuck in the mud.
More photos after the jump

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Nothing says classy like a drink in a bag, but at Vinyl in Hongdae it’s the hot item on the menu. We first read about Vinyl on SeoulEats.com and decided to give it a go.

Drinks in a bag
Photo by Andre Francisco

We stood in a long line of mostly foreigners all looking at the menu: a half Korean, half English list of drinks in a raggedy flip photo album. After ordering, we watched the bartender mix up our cocktail in a sturdy Ziploc baggy. There are no measurements and each drink has a drastically different amount of alcohol in it. When it was all in, the baggy was zipped shut, shaken (never stirred), opened slightly to squeeze a straw through, then passed over to us for a mere 4-5,000 won.

After that it’s up to you for what your night will entail. Perhaps this is a drink to tide you over until you find the next bar. Or maybe it’s to sip on in the park while watching the house band, Soundbox, rock out. Or maybe it’s just a simple start for an enjoyable walk around Hongdae.

A few complaints were the lack of lime in a Cuba Libre and the lack of gin in any of the drinks.

Either way here are a few tips:
1. Expect a line. There’s expats. There’s booze. You do the math.
2. There is a seated area inside, but it is miniscule.
3. Check what alcohols are in the drink and the variety. The larger the number of different alcohols, the stronger the drink.
4. The Long Island Iced Tea is a true Long Island. It’s strong. Beware and enjoy.

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Magic Soju Enhancer Vending Machine
Photo by Anna Waigand

Most foreigners don’t particularly like soju. Koreans drink it for any and all occasions and often when even people from Wisconsin would question whether it’s time for a drink. The national liquor just tastes like watered down vodka, but not watered down enough to not burn. So when we heard from our travel companions that Busan had their own special type of soju we were excited to try it.

At both our lunch restaurant and our night out with the whole group, near our table was a coin-operated vending machine. For a 500 won coin you got a tiny white packet shaped like the little buckets of sealed cream that lounge in bowls at coffee shops. The tiny packet had a thick brown liquid with little if any smell that was supposed to be dumped into a 360ml bottle of soju. Apparently this is all that makes Busan Soju from Busan, because when our friend who spoke some Korean asked for Busan Soju she was pointed to the machine.

As the brown liquid swirled into the soju, we were all curious how much a tiny packet could flavor a bottle of alcohol. We poured maybe half a shot into our cups for a trial run and threw them down the hatch.

And for the first time drinking soju, I came up with a smile on my face. It really was amazingly different. The packet hadn’t added a distinct flavor, but it mellowed out the soju to a smooth drink without the wave of burning that accompanied most soju shots. It was a great addition to soju and should definitely be tried if you are in Busan, but I don’t know if it is worth a trip across the peninsula.

We stocked up on a couple of the packets, and we will have to see how they mix with soju back in Seoul.

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Welcome to the first in a new series of alcohol reviews here on Seoulful Adventures. This series will be called Drink, Drank, K-Drunk and it will feature reviews of traditional Korean alcohols, Seoul bars, and imported alcohol that we haven’t seen outside of Korea. This review falls into that first category.

Drinking alcohol out of a bowl isn’t totally new for Anna and I. While hiking on the Appalachian Trail for a month last summer we had to improvise when faced with rum, fruit punch powder and no cups, but that is another story.

For Chuseok, we went hiking in beautiful Bukhasan National Park with our new friends Greg and Danielle from Twitter(@gboone42). After a day spent going up and down the 837m Baekundae mountain we were hungry. We found a galbi place (grill at your table) and decided to take a seat. We were the only ones there so we got a couple free dishes and lots of attention from the owner. The food was delicious, but this post is about booze.

The weekend before, Greg and Danielle worked on a traditional Korean farm where they were introduced to makkoli, a milky Korean rice wine. We were jealous of their farm trip and they were excited about drinking Makkoli on the farm so we decided to order a bottle. And because in Korea you never get how many you order the owner showed up with two bottles instead of one. He also brought us four small white bowls. The only other things we had to drink out of were metal cups that we already filled with water, so after a minute of confused looks around the table we decided the bowels must be for the makkoli.

Photo by Taekwonweirdo.

Makkoli is an unfiltered rice wine with a milky color and because some of the sediment gathers at the bottom when stored, it needs to be shaken before being poured. Greg did the honors and the 750ml bottle just filled the four bowls. The wine had a smooth and light taste with a gentle hint of sweetness. It was easy to drink and was great for washing down our galbi. I also felt like I tasted the faintest sizzle of carbonation on my tongue, which was confirmed when Greg went to pour the second bottle. He shook it as he had the first, but this time when he opened it, makkoli frothed over the top and bubbled onto the ground next to us. I guess it had a mild carbonation after all.

Greg and Danielle had been served homemade makkoli out of a five-gallon drum, which is clearly a cooler experience and apparently the homemade variety is better than what’s available in stores. But since grape wine is so expensive here, I think we’ll be buying more makkoli and maybe some small bowls to go with it.

Greg and Danielle blog over at Schoolhouse: ROK.

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