Cheong Myeong Ju
The name of this alcohol, cheong myeong, means “clear day” so you could call this Clear Day Brew/Alcohol. But, cheong myeong is also one of the seasons in the lunar calendar which is broken up into 24 season. The cheong myeong season is around April 20th which is when the new planting season begins and you can also think of this alcohol as celebrating the start of the new planting season.
This alcohol has a light hay scent. The taste is sweet and crisp. It has apply notes and a good balance of syrupiness with acidity. On the back end there is a cheesy taste, maybe brie, along with notes of licorice. Would pair well with a pasta dish or cheese plate or at the end of a meal.
This alcohol is made with a secret method that has been passed down from generation to generation that uses wheat and glutinous rice. It is fermented for 100 days and is 17% alcohol. During the Japanese occupation of Korea the family could no longer brew but in 1986 Yeong-Gi Kim (김영기) started brewing it again. He then passed down the recipe to his son Yeong Seop Kim (김영섭) who brews it to this day.
It is listed as one of Chungbuk’s cultural assets (cultural asset No. 2) and made in the city of Chungju at Cheong Myeong Ju Brewery.
Help with tasting and pairing by Roydon Kim of Urban Farm Table