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Encounters Old and New in World HistoryEssays Inspired by Jerry H. Bentley$
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Alan Karras and Laura J. Mitchell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824865917

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824865917.001.0001

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Shaken or Stirred?

Shaken or Stirred?

Recreating Makgeolli for the Twenty-First Century

(p.107) Eight Shaken or Stirred?
Encounters Old and New in World History

Theodore Jun Yoo

University of Hawai'i Press

In 2009, makgeolli, a carbonated local fermented rice grog, often sold in plastic bottles or aseptic box containers topped soju and wine as the most popular alcoholic beverage in South Korea. Long regarded as a poor man's alcohol, this unrefined milky colored, pungent, and slightly carbonated fermented rice drink, notorious for causing major headaches, chronic belching, and nasty hangovers, enjoyed a renaissance. This essay examines makgeolli’s turbulent history, its rise, fall, re-emergence, and attempts by the state to remake this rice wine into a “global beverage.” It examines “soft” forms of nationalism, in particular the commodification of makgeolli through tourism as well as how this alcoholic beverage has been repackaged as part of Korea's unique cultural tradition.

Keywords:   alcohol, branding, culture, food, globalization, hallyu (Korean Wave), Makgeolli, nationalism, soft power, standardization

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