Some of you might have had this drink without even knowing it. It’s sometimes served at the end of the meal at Korean restaurants. Buga serves it, at least the last time I was there which has been a while. I recall Jeong Won Korean BBQ had some in a drink fountain dispenser but it’s been even longer since I’ve visited. I’ve had some very strong and spicy versions, some really sweet versions but my favorites are somewhere in between. I’ve tried several recipes in the past month and finally got to a ratio or ginger to sugar that I liked. I cut down the amount of ginger a lot! I also decreased the sugar but of course you can add more or less sugar to your taste.
It’s been great having this in the fridge with the hot weather lately. A glass with some ice and a small piece of persimmon sure hits the spot. If you’re into the yin-yang food thing, here’s the breakdown for the drink: sugar, cinnamon, ginger and pine nuts are yang (warm), persimmon and water are yin (cool). I am no expert by any means but I think this drink is somewhat balanced. If you want more yin, you could substitute the sugar for honey (yin) but just know it’ll taste a bit different.
On a side note, I had a difficult time getting an appetizing shot of the drink. The color of the tea in the glasses I had just didn’t turn out well. So here’s the best shot I got with the persimmons soaking in the delicious tea. No pine nuts since I only add that when I serve it in a glass.
Adapted from Maangchi
Yield: 4 -5 servings
- 4-5 dried persimmons
- 4-5 cinnamon sticks, rinsed
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- Pine nuts for garnishing
- 8 cups of water
Put ginger and cinnamon sticks in a pot that will hold 8 cups of water. Add water to the pot. Boil for 15 minutes over high heat with the lid on. If it boils over, take off the lid.
Lower the heat to medium and boil for another 20-25 minutes.
Add 1 cup of sugar. Stir and cool it down. Strain cinnamon sticks and sliced ginger in a colander and discard.
Remove the stems from the dried persimmons and wash thoroughly under cold running water.
Pour the tea it into a large glass jar or glass bowl. Add the persimmons. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Serve cold with ice cubes. Each serving should have one persimmon in it with a few pine nuts sprinkled on top. It will keep in the fridge for about 1 week; best used within one week.