Traditional Health Drinks Just the Tonic for Muggy Weather

      July 08, 2013 08:29

      Long before the days of Powerade, Pepsi and Caramel Frappucinos, Koreans relied on various seasonal fruits and flowers to quench their thirst -- beverages like sikhye (rice punch), sujeonggwa (persimmon punch), and hwachae (traditional punch made with various fruits or edible flower petals).

      These drinks are still widely served as restorative tonics amid the sweltering heat, as well as a refreshing alternative to heavily caffeinated drinks or sugar-laden sodas. All are made using healthy natural ingredients.

      Sikhye is made by adding decocted malt to cooked rice, after which it is fermented. It remains popular both as a digestive aid and for its naturally sweet taste.

      Sujeonggwa takes its unique flavor from the delicate blending of spicy ginger, cinnamon and sweet dried persimmon. To make a cup, simply boil water with ginger and cinnamon, and then serve with a small pinch of sugar or honey and dried persimmon to add flavor.

      The first step to preparing a bowl of hwachae is to dice various seasonal fruits and then soak them in sweetened water or juice. Flower petals can be added as a garnish.

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