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Oma’s Winter Grog Recipe

oma's winter grog recipeThis winter grog recipe incorporates makgeolli, a fermented beverage native to Korea. “Some may consider this a riff on mulled wine, but since makgeolli is generally not very high in alcohol and is closer to beer strength, let’s just call it a riff on grog,” says bartender Maria Carlin. “It’s the perfect drink to end the evening in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night, after a big meal of Korean BBQ.”

750 ml. makgeolli (Carlin uses Slow City)
5 oz. pear brandy
5 oz. aged rum
3¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz Asian pear syrup (see below)
1/8 oz. allspice dram
Tools: pot, ladle
Glass: mug
Garnish: lemon peel with three cloves, cinnamon stick & freshly grated nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat—do not bring to a boil—until you can see a light whiff of steam over the liquid. Line a mug with an 1/8 oz. allspice dram, stir the heated grog before you pour it into the cup, and garnish with a lemon peel that has three cloves pierced into it’s flesh. Throw in a cinnamon stick and grate fresh nutmeg over the top. Serves 6.

Asian pear syrup: Place 1 lb. of Asian pears (peeled and diced) into a pot over medium heat. Let the fruit soften and begin to release its juices for 5 minutes, then mash it thoroughly. Remove from heat. Strain through cheesecloth and squeeze to extract as much juice as possible. Measure the liquid and combine it with an equal amount of sugar in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until a honey-like consistency is achieved.

Maria Carlin, Big Star Bar, Chicago

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