Many might not know this but South Korea is the #1 consumer of alcohol in all of Asia. The Korean drinking culture is intense! They work hard and they play hard…sometimes a bit too hard. But thankfully Korea has some of the best hangover drinks and has perfected the formula to not only get you through the night but have you feeling great in the morning. The best hangover drinks in Korea can be easily purchased at the local convenience store. Many Koreans turn to these drinks before or after a night out to help them metabolize the alcohol (mostly soju). Getting over a hangover quickly is very important in Korea because most have to work the following day.
Hangover drinks started being produced in the early 90s. It soon gained popularity and now it is a $200 million market. These drinks include ingredients such as Korean pear juice, red ginseng, and raisin extract just to name a few. These hangover drinks are not necessarily for hangover recovery. They are marketed for every stage of a typical night out. Some can be taken before going out or before you go to bed. It is estimated that 75% of Koreans today rely on these drinks for recovery. It is important to find a drink that works for you as everyone seems to have different experiences and effects.
This might be the most popular hangover drink in Korea. If you look carefully you will find a few roots floating inside. It was one of the first hangover drinks made in Korea. The formula uses traditional Chinese medicine and seeds from a raisin tree. It also has lotus seeds and milk vetch roots. The bottle costs 4,500 won ($3.50) so it is not cheap. However, to get the best benefit it is recommended to take three per night out. One before drinking, one while you are drinking, and one before you go to bed. That means you will need to spend 13,500 won! In addition, Condition now has Condition Lady (pink bottle) which is specially formulated to help women recover from hangovers.
Price: 4,500 won
Bae Juice (Korean Pear Juice)
Bae Juice is 100% Korean pear juice. It is sourced, squeezed, and packaged in Naju, South Korea. Naju is known for its high-quality Asian peers. It is by far the best-tasting hangover drink on this list. For those looking for a natural remedy, it doesn’t get better than Korean pear juice. Bae Juice has been proven to help assist with nasty hangover symptoms due to enzymes inside the pear that help speed up the metabolism of alcohol and reduce blood acetaldehyde levels. Tests were done at Omic Australia, a food testing laboratory that specializes in food chemistry and microbiology. For the best results, it is recommended to drink Bae Juice before consuming alcohol. Bae Juice has become very popular in Australia and should arrive soon in South Korea by the end of the year.
Price: 3,000 won
Oriental Raisin Tea (헛개수)
Having a full recovery is all about hydration. This is why many Koreans drink Oriental Raisin Tea which has been around a very long time in Korea. This drink can be drunk normally for those that like the taste of raisin tea. It is made 100% from Korean Oriental raisin tree fruits and helps mainly with dehydration. In addition, it is known to decompose alcohol. This is why this drink is very popular in the hot summer months in Korea. It also has zero calories, sodium, and sugar.
For those that don’t like the earthy taste, this tea might not be for you. However, if you like the taste, we recommend taking it throughout the night. It is very cheap and can be found in any convenience store in Korea. Again unlike the other drink, this hangover drink focuses on hydrating the body so you can have it with you and drink it throughout the night.
Price: 1,500 won
- Goodbye Alcohol
While you can take it the morning after you can also take this before going to bed.
Price: 4,000 won
The Korean Drinking Culture
Going out for a drink can take place multiple times a week. It is considered a vital part of office bonding and being a part of the corporate culture. In fact, many don’t have a choice in the matter. If your boss wants to drink, you will be drinking that night. Drinking is not only a part of Korean working culture but Korean culture as a whole. This is because Koreans feel that drinking is the best way to get to know each other better. Koreans tend to be naturally shy and drinks, especially soju, really opens them up.
Finding a place to drink in Korea is super easy. There are many hofs, bars, and convenience stores open all night. A bottle of soju at one of these convenience stores is only 1,500 won (around $1). With alcohol readily available, Koreans have grown up drinking from college to work life. In addition, drinking helps reduce stress. Korean work life can be hard and stressful. Therefore it is very common for coworkers to go out drinking after a long day’s work.