Korea is famous from olden times for its apple, pear, pine nut and honey. The beverage made by mixing these was so famous for its cool and sweet taste that people of other countries tried to learn the recipe. In the period of the feudal Joson dynasty, people put dried persimmon in the water and boiled it, before putting ginger and pine nuts in the cooled water, and called it sujonggwa. They said that it is a unique beverage to be tasted only in winter. The original sujonggwa used peach, strawberry, pear and other fruits, but after dried persimmon was used as the main ingredient, it was called kotkamsujonggwa or kotkamjonggwa.
The main sugar ingredient is honey or other sugary materials.
Koreans often drank this beverage on the traditional lunar New Year’s Day.
The beverage performs pharmacological action positive to human health. In the process of making it by mixing various kinds of ingredients including ginger, cinnamon, pine nuts, honey and dried persimmon, materials including various kinds of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are good for health are combined. They purify blood and relieve fatigue.
Therefore, foreign visitors to the DPRK who tasted sujonggwa unsparingly praised the beverage, saying it is unique as it is aromatic, sweet and cool.
This traditional beverage was inscribed on the list of the country’s intangible cultural heritage on December 13, Juche 105 (2016).