Japanese Snack Food Review: Korean Ginseng Drink


[Editor’s Note: Guest August Blogaversary Liquid Review Month Review. Or something. Anyway, here’s TheMan.]

Ah another fine honorary JSFR beverage. This one practically jumped up and down and volunteered to be in the review. Take a look at the bottle. It’s such a lovely shape. The green of the label is a compliment to the pale gold liquid inside. And then you notice the faint squiggle of something floating there.


It’s a root. An honest to goodness chunk of ginseng root, stuffed into the bottle like an oversized tequila worm. There it sits, waiting for you to pop open the top and taste the fine beverage within.

Although, in this case, I’m defining “Fine” as “Thin” rather than “High Quality”. This drink is kind of weirdly thin. It is a collection of vague flavors in a sweet suspension. The taste is sweet and faintly perfumed in flavor. It’s sort of medicinal, almost like what you’d get if you washed a couple hundred cough drops and kept their dilute bath water.

There’s also a bark-y, earthy flavor. Kind of a sweet, un-carbonated medicinal root-beer with faint hints of tea and honey. And medicine. Did I mention the medicine? Because the more of this I have the more antiseptic and medicinal it tastes. Each sip of the thin drink adds another coat of flavor to the tongue, until you’ve built up a lacquer from the liquid liquor.

The strangest thing is that the taste isn’t out-and-out bad. It’s just vaguely disquieting. It’s not something that invites a spit-take spew response, but it’s not something I’d actively seek out either. Overall, I’d rate it at a Rating

of 1.5 out of 5 Wasabi Peas.

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