BY: ALEXANDRIA LEE
Don’t let its Big Brother-esque dictatorship, brutal concentration camps, and general isolation from the rest of the world turn you away – apparently, North Korea is also now home to a new drink that has all the perks of alcohol and none of the regret.
The state-owned Pyongyang Times has released anon Koryo Liquor, an alcoholic drink that is made from insam (a plant extract that is also known as ginseng) and glutinous rice. The insam is six years old and native to Kaesong, North Korea, and is ranked among the nation’s top tonics.
In the liquor’s original inception, sugar was used to contrast the bitterness of the insam. While it produced its original effect of “[a] bitter taste first and then sweet, savoury flavour”, the liquor did not help with hangovers. After years of research, glutinous rice now replaces the sugar. When boiled and scorched, the rice’s nutritive substances settle to the bottom and the starch breaks up to become glucose.
Glutinous rice is used in Koryo Liquor to contrast the bitterness of the drink, and keep it hangover free.
“The scorched glutinous rice contains essential amino acids, inorganic substances and vitamins,” reports Jong Hwa Sun of the Pyongyang Times. The glutinous rice is also stated to quicken lipolysis, the breakdown of fats, which may make it a Kim Jong-Un favourite as the supreme leaderthe pounds amongst his starving people.
Koryo Liquor, which is described as “suave” and is “highly appreciated by experts and [drink] lovers”, is made by the Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory with an alcohol content of 30 to 40 per cent. It has placed first at several national food and drink exhibitions and was awarded the Dec. 15 Medal of Quality, making it regarded as “a national scientific and technological hit.”
The rice ingredient in the 30%- 40% alcoholic drink also helps to quicken the process of fat breakdown.
As the drink is only available in North Korea, and presumably only to the nation’s more elite citizens, it is not possible to verify the article’s claims. In June, the DPRK “the World Health Organization and the rest of the world’s most influential pharmaceutical companies [would] be calling North Korea right now.”a cure for MERS was invented in Pyongyang, which would also help to eliminate SARS, avian influenza and AIDS. The Kumdang-2 injection was developed through fertilizing insam fields with “rare earth elements” and extracting an essence that would increase immunity levels. Seoul clinical pharmacy professor Bang Jun-seok said Kumdang-2 claims were “likely dubious” and that if it were true,
And without a World Alcohol Organization, we are unlikely to know if Koryo Liquor truly prevents hangovers or if it is yet another bottle of lies. With the nation’s reputation for propaganda, however, the latter is most likely.