Non-alcoholic options now available at restaurants and bars in Korea

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 29, 2024, 17:55 Updated : May 29, 2024, 18:01
Getty Images Bank
[Getty Images Bank]

SEOUL, May 29 (AJU PRESS) - Restaurants and bars are now able to sell no- and low-alcohol beverages, such as non-alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic wine, following the recent amendment to Korea's relevant law took effect on Tuesday.

Previously, wholesalers were banned from supplying restaurants with premade or mass-produced beverages containing less than one percent alcohol. Non-drinkers, attending corporate drinking parties or other events, had to consume something else like water and soft drinks, or purchase non-alcoholic beer or wine from nearby convenience stores to socialize with colleagues.

Under the new amendment reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Economy and Finance during a cabinet meeting hosted by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo last week, selling single glass shots of whisky, soju or Korean distilled liquor, makgeolli or Korean fermented rice wine, and sake or Japanese rice wine at restaurants and bars are also legally acceptable. The previous law only permitted cocktails and draft beer for the sale of single glass shots.

Alcoholic drinks were often sold by the glass in the past, as the law did not explicitly clarify this practice as legal.

The amendment also permits the sale of chilled or heated liquor, as well as liquor mixed on the spot in a restaurant or bar with carbonated water, vegetables, or fruits. This is good news for cocktail-specialized bartenders, as making various kinds of non-traditional cocktails with experimental ingredients now becomes legal.
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