Located on Garosugil, De Chou is a Korean bar that specializes in traditional drinks including Moonbaeju, Leegang-ju, and Gamheungro. Owned by a former magazine editor, the liquor list is the result of the owner’s journeys around the country in search of genuine traditional drinks. As the alcohol content in traditional soju is quite high, beginners may want to have their first drinks on the rocks. And don’t forget to grab some modern bar snacks inspired by star chef Raymond Kim.
There’s a saying in Korean: A single glass of alcohol is worth more than a hundred words. When it comes to the world of traditional Korean alcohol (jeontong-ju), we’d up that number to a thousand. There’s so much history and variety here, and you’ll want to try it all: Moonbaeju, which doesn’t list pear in its ingredients yet somehow manages to exude notes of fresh pear. Hamyang Solsongju, made with pine needles and redolent of the deep mountains. Gosori-sul, brewed from the best Jeju Island millet.
In the old days, you’d have to travel deep into the countryside to try these different regional beverages, but these days, thankfully, several venues in Seoul have done the hard work for us. They’re even happy to share their knowledge of traditional alcohol over a glass or two! Whether you like it strong and hard or soft and fragrant, there’s a jeontong-ju for you.