LUXE City Guides
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Moon Jar, Seoul: Hipster Drinker

Soju, aka the social lubricant favoured by Seoul’s businessmen, can taste like jet fuel to the uninitiated.

For something equally cultural but a little easier to swallow, try makgeolli – a sweet, milky rice wine that comes in different flavours and with purported health benefits, best imbibed at hipster nook Moon Jar.

A white concrete, rustic bi-level box just steps away from label land, this buzzy watering hole has an ace selection of soju, sake, and makgeolli – opt for the lattermost. There’s the Presidential selection, or ‘deluxe’ options like black sesame or white lotus infusions; all are served in quaint old-fashioned tin kettles and bowls. And to accompany, a simple menu of savouries include the must-try juns (savoury pancakes) – the seafood-scallion incarnation is a particular hit. 

As for the supposed health benefits such as improved kidney function and reduced fatigue, we can’t vouch for that, but if you’re lucky enough to score a balcony table, who the hell cares if you wake up with a thumping hangover the next day? Note that the menu is in Korean only, so go with a native, seek the advice of a friendly staff member, or simply point, wave your arms and hope for the best. Ganbei! 

Moon Jar, 38, Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul+82 2 541 6118,

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