Looking for a place with a wide range of hard-to-find makgeolli, yakju, and soju in Seoul? You need to visit Aejoo Geumho (애주금호). We’ve often been asked, “why are there no bottle shops in South Korea?”. For beer and spirit lovers, most of the alcohol supplies come from franchise supermarkets. If you’re a Korean sool, or traditional alcohol, lover, you’ve likely been frustrated by those big brands and their lack of selection. However, Korea’s days of being a booze-buying desert are slowly coming to an end. Meet Aejoo Geumho, a “Korean bottle shop” dedicated to Korean alcohol and natural wines.
Aejoo Geumho is a liquor store located in Geumho station, subway line number 3. It might look small on the outside, but do not underestimate the size. It is fully loaded with a wide assortment of Korean alcohol products including makgeolli, cheongju, yakju, and soju. Various kinds of Korean fruit wines and liqueurs are also available at Aejoo Geumho, in addition to their wide selection of natural wines. If you are looking for something specific, an inquiry through phone before visiting is recommended.
One side of Aejoo Geumho’s wall has fully devoted itself to bearing various kinds of delicious sool. You can find most of the makgeolli, cheongju, yakju you would know in those refrigerators, and even some you don’t. The assortment of what is in stock will vary from time to time, so no need to be too sad if you do not find exactly what you did the last visit. In other words, it is a great opportunity to try out something new! You’ll want to visit, visit again, and well, visit again.
Next to the refrigerators, you can find even more sool with a wall focused more on products that do not need to be refrigerated, such as soju, liqueurs, or fruit wines. On the opposite end is a hefty variety of natural wines available all season round, so if you are a natural wine lover, it is definitely worth paying a visit.
As it is not easily visible from the entrance, you might overlook Aejoo Geumho’s other secret weapon. It is equipped with a cozy but spacious tasting room, accompanied with a fairly priced food menu. Whether you want a private tasting seminar or a casual drink with family and friends, simply call and ask about booking the tasting room. There is a fee per bottle to enjoy the sool on premise, 3,000won charge for bottles over 10,000won and 5,000won for bottles under 10,000won. Even with the additional charge, you’ll find the bill cheaper than most dedicated Korean alcohol bars – and the selection is bar none!
The manager of Aejoo Geumho is incredibly knowledgeable and there is no sool unturned in her experience. Korean skills will be needed to gain the most benefit from her guidance, however sool lovers have a way of being able to communicate across language barriers when it comes to good booze. So even if you don’t speak Korean, ask for help! The staff will be ready to advise you in the best possible way.
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