Thursday, May 31, 2012

Food and Drink Korea #1 - Convenience Store Drinks

Today I am going to introduce some commonly found drinks in Korea.  You can get these or variations of them at your local Convenience Store.  Convenience stores are ubiquitous across Korea  - from where I live I can get to at least six in under 5 minutes (not kidding) there is even one in my building so I don't even have to go out if its raining.

These are just four drinks that I have recently tried, I will follow up with some more and maybe some snack foods in the future. As I have said before I am very picky so I don't like coffee or tea and this limits my choices a bit in the drinks department here in Korea.

1. Hot6 (핫식스)
This one is a carbonated energy drink and is relatively new to the market.  Prior to a year or so ago there were no 'engery drinks' per se in Korea.  They had their own vitamin drinks which we will look at in number 4. but when I first got here just over a year ago you could not even get Red Bull in most places, there was only one Convenience Store that carried it in my area.  I believe this was due to the ingredients which were not allowed but I am not 100 per cent on that.  Anyway now most of my local stores stock Red Bull and there are some local variations making their way onto the market.  The one they are pushing the most is this one Hot6 so I thought I would support local trade and give it ago.  I have to say I did not like it, it was too bland and kind of tasted faintly of flowers.  It was relatively sweet but not as sweet as Red Bull.

2. Honey Water (꿀물)
I like honey and water so I thought I would give this a try.  Way too sweet and this is coming from someone who loves sweet things.  According to the bottle it has 20 % honey which was maybe a bit much.  It pretty much just tastes like what it says honey flavoured water.

3. Woongjin Aloe Juice (자연은 알로에)
This one is my pick of the bunch and my new favourite non-caffeinated beverage. There are a couple of other brands of Aloe Vera drink on the market  - one is Del Monte but the one pictured here is the best I have tasted. I did not like the Del Monte brand one at all.  The drink tastes a bit like a sweet green grape juice, its refreshing and has little chunks of aloe vera in it.  The chunks might put some people off and I was dubious at first but they are really soft and small and you don't really even notice them.

4. Bacchus-F (박카스)
This one is a non-carbonated Korean energy drink. It has been around for a long time and was originally sold as a herbal remedy for colds and hangovers.  Korea has a few of this kind of vitamin drink, there are ones that have vitamin C in them for example and taste like orange.  I had tried the vitamin C ones first and they are quite nice, a sweet flavoured orange taste and I could immediately taste the similarities when I tried this one however I did not like it as much and I found it a bit too bland like the Hot6 one.  It is kind of sweet but it does not have the citrus flavour that the other ones do so is not as nice.


  1. Hi I'm a Kiwi looking to go to South Korea next year (I graduate May next year) I've been looking into it for a while now and although this may seem random but I'm addicted to the stuff (and also not a big Coffee fan) have you found anything like V over there?

    1. Hi there, don't worry I can relate I had my own little V addiction going on before I came over here and I'm looking forward to drinking a bucket load when I'm home for a holiday next week.

      Energy drinks are only just coming onto the market over here, I think their were issues with the ingredients. There a few new ones coming out but I have not found anything to rival V. Lucky for me I will drink Red Bull if there is no V - don't really drink it at home much except as a mixer. When I first got here at the beginning of last year you could not even get Red Bull but now most of the main chain stores carry it.

      If you need your caffeine fix then its your best bet.

    2. Hi fellow Kiwis, you will be pleased to know that I have just this Monday found 'V' in Korea. It was very exciting as I had just come back from holiday in New Zealand. I had my last 'V' on Sunday morning before my flight and said my farewell to it.
      Then low and behold I walk into one of the two convenience stores near my work and see a flash of green in the fridge next to the Red Bull. You can probably guess my excitement level, and it was only 1800won compared to Red Bull's 2900won - so bargin. It was printed up in Korean so Frucor must be moving into the Korean market.