liquor Leegangju
Leegangju is a fine alcoholic drink with yellowish color. In the past it was categorized as a rice wine, but now it is classified as liquor. It is a fine mix of freshness of pears, hot ginger, turmeric that helps the mind feel sober even when we are drunken and the particular taste of cinnamon. Adding honey helps the liquor to pass our throat even more smoothly. The taste is sweet and spicy at the same time, strengthens stomach and does good for liver as well. Distilled, the liquor gets to have even more profound flavor as it gets old. As a fine liquor that has no aftereffect and barely produces hangover after overdrinking, Leegangju has been designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Properties in 1987.
Materials for making
  • liquor Leegangju materials
    About 80 percent of this fruit is eatable, with about 85-88 percent of water and 50 kcal. Alkaline, its main substance is carbohydrate, with 10-13 percent of sugar (fructose and sucrose), organic acid such as malic acid, tartaric acid and sour salt, as well as Vitamin B, Vitamin C, cellulose and fat.
    It works well for curing asthmatic disease such as pneumonia, cold, and cough, while helping bowel movement and diuretics. It removes phlegm, coughing, and relieves symptoms when one’s throat is hoarse or stomach is cold. It also helps treating tumor and removes hangover with detoxication.
  • liquor Leegangju materials
    Ginger is considered to originate from Hindustan region in East India. Historic records say that it was grown in China about 2,500 years ago, while in Korea it was grown around 1018, during the Goryeo Kingdom period. It was so valuable item to be presented to the king.
    This medicinal plant has particular smell and is very spicy. It is known to cure chill, fever, headache, coughing, phlegm and is also effective for stomachache caused by food poisoning. Its medicinal effects reported include promoting gastric juice, digestive power, and circulation of blood as well as suppression of bacteria.
    Bong-dong, Wanju is especially known to have the most suitable soil for growing ginger with its ochre, stringy soil. It is the place that produces the largest amount of ginger per unit across the nation.
  • liquor Leegangju materials
    Turmeric grows in southern China, India, Okinawa and Southeast Asian regions as well as central and southern Korea. It is called Ulgeum in Korean, geum meaning gold, because when it is mixed with alcohol it becomes yellow as gold.
    This medicinal plant has a peculiar smell and colors saliva yellowish when we chew it. It is spicy and bitter, and its character is cooling.
    It helps circulate our energy and blood, and cures period pains, irregularity, vomiting of blood, nose-bleeding, and bloody urine. It will remove stuffy feelings from the chest and stomach, promoting secretion of bile and excretion. It is also reported that curcuma tuber reduces formation of blockage inside the artillery.
    In Chinese imperial palaces, they put this into alcohol and food to get its peculiar flavor. It was also used as spices in Joseon palaces. Unlike narcotics, curcuma tuber serves as a tranquillizer without addition, as it has both ying and yang. Because it was such a precious medicinal plant, royal palaces dispatched people to the places of its plantations to supervise the growing. According to historic records, the plantations were limited to Haeju and Jeonju. It is no coincidence that Jeonju is the birthplace of Leegangju.
  • liquor Leegangju materials
    Cinnamon was also called chim, which means invasion, because this tree harmed other plants by suppressing their growth. It is said that if we nail a cinnamon tree to the roots of other plants, they die right away.
    This medicinal plant also has a peculiar smell, and the taste is spicy and sweet at the same time. It is hot in character.
    Cinnamon helps blood circulation, removes coolness from chest and stomach, increase appetite and digestive power. It is also used to cure paralysis in limbs. It also suppresses stomach cramps and abnormal fermentation within an intestine, while promoting discharging of gas and absorption power.
    Its reported medicinal effects include suppression of bacteria, strengthening of stomach, and promotion of secretion of saliva and gastric juice.
  • liquor Leegangju materials
    Honey is said to be the mankind’s first food obtained from the nature as well as food for the Greek gods. Romans reportedly considered honey as dew from the sky.
Manufacturing Processes
1Make crude liquor by mixing 5.3kg of polished rice, 2kg of fermented malt and 8L of water in a clean jar.
2After three days, mix the crude water with 10.6kg of barley corn, 1.5kg of fermented malt and 16L of water. Wait for four days, during which the liquor ripens and becomes 15% alcohol.
3Make Soju out of the ripened liquor by putting 18L of it into a cauldron and changing water four times. It becomes 35% Soju.
4Mix five pears, 20g of ginger, 7.5g of curcuma tuber, 3.75g of cinnamon with 18L of Soju and add honey. It becomes Leegangju.
5Because of its high percentage of alcohol, it is alright to preserve it for a long time. In fact, the taste and flavor even get better as the time passes by.
※ Because of its high percentage of alcohol, it is alright to preserve it for a long time. In fact, the taste and flavor even get better as the time passes by.