Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Koreans have been producing—and drinking—alcohol for centuries. Along with song and dance, alcohol has always been an essential part of the Korean joie de vivre. Koreans drink a lot, but they don't drink just to get drunk. Of course, Koreans enjoy alcohol as a means to make merry and build cohesion between family, friends and coworkers. But alcohol's place in Korean culture goes far beyond that. Alcohol has historically also been a medicine and a means to preserve perishable ingredients. It even has a place in the sacred rites of Korea's Confucian society, including the all-important ancestral remembrance rites. Because of the important role alcohol has played in their society, Koreans have developed sophisticated brewing techniques to produce a wide range of alcoholic tipples.
A native of Long Island, New York, Robert Koehler has lived in Korea since 1997. He works for Seoul-based publishing company Seoul Selection, where, among other things, he serves as editor-in-chief of the monthly travel magazine SEOUL. In addition to SEOUL SELECTION GUIDES: KOREA, he authored SEOUL SELECTION GUIDES: SEOUL, KOREAN CERAMICS: THE BEAUTY OF NATURAL FORMS, HANGEUL: KOREA'S UNIQUE ALPHABET and co-authored the walking tour guide SEOUL'S HISTORIC WALKS. Robert currently lives in Seoul's Itaewon neighborhood with his wife Solongo. When he's not writing or blogging, he can often be found traveling about the Korean countryside, photographing historic architecture.Author City: Seoul KOR