Sunday, September 2, 2012

Food and Drink Korea #2 - Convenience Store Drinks

I have some more drinks to share with you today, these are some that can be found at your local convenience stores or supermarkets in Korea.  The last two are a bit more rare as they are only new additions to the market.

1. Shikhye (비락 식혜)
Made by a company called Paldo (who also bring you number 5 on this list) this is a traditional drink made from rice. The label says Nostalgia Drink. Shikhye Since 1993 and then the rest is all in Korean, it comes in a small 238ml can. Shikhye is a sweet dessert drink for after meals - it is supposed to help with digestion. It is a clear color with a hint of yellow to it, and it has little bits of rice floating in it. You need to shake it first before opening because it settles at the bottom of the can. It's quite sweet and tastes kind of like rice cereal. I did not like it, I think it's one of those flavours that you need to grow up on to enjoy however I'm sure some non-Korean people out there like it; I think it could be a nice refreshing drink but it was just not my thing.

2. Oriental Raisin Water
Like the honey water I tried last time I figured  - I like raisins and water so this could be OK. Boy was I ever wrong, all I can say is uggg (with shudder for good measure).  I did not like this one, actually I smelt it first and knew I would not. I did however proceed to take a couple of sips just so I could advise about it here  - the rest of this one is being tipped down the sink. It's called Oriental Raisin Water - that's in English on the bottle, but it does not taste like raisins or grapes or any other fruit.  It tastes kind of like wheat infused water, it's a clear brown color like the color of tea. If anyone knows what is in it exactly please put in the comments

3. Milkis (밀키스)
Milkis is one of the most well known Korean soda drinks, its made by the company Lotte which is a large local conglomerate. Lotte owns a chain of supermarkets, an amusement park, baseball teams, hotels and some movie cinemas to name but a few of their enterprises. I've taken a long time to try this one as I just never really thought that putting milk in a soda was a good idea.  I finally thought it was time to bite the bullet and try it.  It's sweeter than I thought it would be but not hugely so and only faintly tastes of milk, it's a bit like Sprite with a bit of yogurt flavor mixed in.  It looks pale and white and is carbonated so it really is a 'milk soda' kind of drink. It's kinda hard to describe so if you get a chance try it yourself.  It's OK for a try but I don't think I will be drinking it on a regular basis.

4. Angry Birds Taurine Ssoda (타우릴 쏘다)
This one is a new soda that is taking advantage of the Angry Bird mania that has swept the Korean nation.  As a teacher I really see the permeation of this, the kids are all Angry Bird this and Angry Bird that - they have toys and t-shirts and usually can't go one lesson without mentioning it in some context. This soda is clearly labeled 'Caffeine Free' on the can  - I am guessing that it will appeal to kids so it would be bad to have caffeine in it.  The taste also shows that it's probably marketed towards kids, it tastes like sweet candy.  I think it was raspberry in flavor, the color was pink so it was one of those flavors (could have been strawberry but it had a bit of a tang to it).  I thought it was quite nice but I do like really sweet fruity tastes. I probably would not buy on a regular basis but would drink again happily.

5. Pow (파우)
According to the label on this one it is actually made in Austria not Korea but I thought I would add it here because I wanted to try it anyway.  It is one of an Avengers series that recently came out and apparently according to another blog I read there are six different cans.  There were only three at the store I found them at - Ironman and Hulk from the Avengers and then Spiderman.  I bought the Hulk one as I thought he was a good role model for energy drinks. Anyway this one is labeled as an Organic Energy Drink - not sure what that's about as the ingredients are all in Korean, it does have caffeine in it however as that warning is in English.  It tasted of a kind of citrus flavor - maybe lemon or lime I would guess.  I did not really like it that much but it was OK enough to finish the can, probably not a repeat thing even if the cans look pretty cool.

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