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Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine)

How about a bowl of Traditional Korean Rice Wine? Learn how to make Makgeolli, an alcoholic beverage, at home with this recipe.

April 14, 2022
Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine)Photo By Canva
Difficulty Medium
Servings 2 people
Preparation 180 mins
Cooking 60 mins
Total 240 mins



  1. First, start by preparing the rice. This step should be done about five hours before starting the rest of the recipe. Prepare the rice by washing the dry rice several times in cold water. The water should run quite clear through the rice.
  2. Then soak the rice. Soaking time depends on the type of rice you use. Soak the sweet rice for two hours. If you are using short grain rice, let it sit for three hours. Finally, if you're using brown rice, soak it overnight.
  3. Drain the rice through a sieve or colander for 30-40 minutes. Make sure you drain the excess water.
  4. To steam rice, use a bamboo steamer or rice cooker. Put the rice in the steamer and let it steam for forty minutes, at which point the steam coming out of the steamer should be barely visible.
  5. Spread the steamed rice on a tray and let it cool for about two hours. It should be cool to the touch.
  6. Next, disinfect your bowl with soap and water, then rinse. Make sure there is no soap in the container as this will prevent the fermentation process from going smoothly.
  7. Measure the water you will use an hour before starting the fermentation. Use clean, filtered or bottled water. Add nuruk to this water and let the mixture soak for an hour. If there are large nuruk pieces, break them up by hand.
  8. When the rice is completely cooled, add it to the nuruk mixture. The rice should be dry enough for the grains to separate easily.
  9. Roughly mix all the ingredients with your hands. Make sure that all the ingredients are drenched in the mixture and that the rice grains do not crumble.
  10. Loosely close the container and store it in a cool, dark place for 10-14 days.
  11. You should leave the lid slightly ajar for the first three days of brewing. Twice each day, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon; over time, you should see liquid begin to appear.
  12. Keep the lid closed at all times from day four, but keep checking how much liquid is produced. At most temperatures, the brewing process should be completed in about ten days, although this time may vary depending on the temperature of the brewing room.
  13. Once the brewing is complete, strain the mixture into a bowl using a fine-mesh filter. Add water and sugar to the filtered liquid. Mix well to combine the ingredients.
  14. Strain the mixture and put it in a glass jar or bottle. Store it in the refrigerator for a few days.
  15. Before drinking, stir well. Then serve it cold.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine)
Serves 2
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1 g1.3%
Protein 4 g8%
Protein 4 g8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use short-grain rice or sticky glutinous rice. If you use short-grain rice, you get a drier wine, otherwise you get a sweeter brew.
  • Be sure to brew this rice wine in a cool, dark place.
  • Serve it chilled or partially frozen.
  • Stir the rice wine lightly before drinking it because rice usually settles to the bottom.
  • You can optionally dilute your makgeolli. For this, mix the wine and water in a 2:1 ratio and add 2 tablespoons of sugar to each batch of wine. This will produce a thinner, sweeter drink with an alcohol content of about six percent.
  • It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.
  • Based on the recipe, nutrition information may vary. These figures are not exact and should be considered as a guide.
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Makgeolli is a brewed Korean rice wine. It is a popular beverage in Korean restaurants. This low-alcohol beverage is served cold in small bowls. Traditionally, it is prepared with rice, water, and sugar.

You can also make this popular Makgeolli rice wine at home. Try this drink that pairs perfectly with Korean food.

What Is Makgeolli?

Makgeolli is a Korean rice wine. Fermentation takes place thanks to the sugars present in rice and leaves you with an alcoholic beverage that has quite a sweet, intense flavor.

This traditional Korean alcoholic beverage is also known as nongju or "farmer's liquor." It has a sharp taste. To make makgeolli at home, combine cooked short grain rice with nuruk. This mixture is known as the fermentation starter. Nuruk can be purchased at Asian grocery stores or online.

There are several versions of Makgeolli rice wine. Dongdongju is also known as "Young" makgeolli. It is fermented for only a few days. Takju, on the other hand, has a higher alcohol content by volume. It is a slightly diluted version of the traditional makgeolli brewed drink.

What Are the Differences Between Makgeolli and Soju?

These two drinks are similar in that they are both made from rice. The difference, really, is that makgeolli is thicker and sweeter than soju. Soju is very often described as a "dry wine," while makgeolli isn’t. Furthermore, makgeolli typically has a lower alcohol content; finished drinks are typically around 6-7%ABV.

Another difference between Makgeolli and Soju is the ingredients used. While makgeolli is only made with rice, soju is made using ingredients like rice, wheat, barley, and sweet potato.

How to Drink Makgeolli?

Makgeolli is best when it’s served cold. When bottled, it will separate into liquid and sediment; you can either shake the bottle to mix the two or drink them separately. Drinking the liquid without the sediment actually leads to a less calorific drink!

Makgeolli is traditionally served as ladled from the casserole and placed in a large bowl or glass.

What To Serve with Makgeolli?

Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Makgeolli:

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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