After touring Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces, we wanted to rest our feet. I took my mom and aunt to a tea house in Insa-dong, where we tried hwachae instead of Korean tea. Hwachae, or traditional cold beverages, are made with fruit or grains and water sweetened with sugar or omija (more on that fruit in a future post).
Here is mi-sook-gar-u (as spelled on the menu), a hearty drink of several grains. The consistency resembles that of a yogurt smoothie, but the taste is all grain.
Shik-he, made with rice, crushed ice, and lots of sugar, was my mom's choice. It was very refreshing after a long day outdoors! Vendors also sell this drink on the street. A canned version is also available. Don't let the rice fool you, though: this drink is as healthy as soda. One serving contains more sugar than a regular Coke!