Refreshing Hwachae for Summer: A perfect drink for hot days
Summer is here, and what better way to beat the heat than with a refreshing drink? If you are looking for something different from the usual lemonade or iced tea, why not try hwachae, a traditional Korean fruit punch that is easy to make and delicious to drink.
What is hwachae?
Hwachae is a general term for traditional Korean punches, made with various fruits or edible flower petals. The fruits and flowers are soaked in honeyed water or honeyed magnolia berry juice. In modern South Korea, carbonated drinks and fruit juices are also commonly added to hwachae.
Hwachae is served as a dessert or snack, especially during the summer months when fresh fruits are abundant. It is also a popular choice for festive occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and holidays. Hwachae can be enjoyed by people of all ages, as it is refreshing, sweet, and nutritious.
How to make hwachae?
There are many variations of hwachae, and some are even made with grains such as barley or rice cakes. However, the most common and popular type of hwachae is subak-hwachae, which is made with watermelon. Watermelon is a summer staple in Korea, as it is juicy, sweet, and cooling.
To make subak-hwachae, you will need the following ingredients:
- Watermelon: You will need about 2 cups of watermelon, balled or cubed. You can use a melon-baller or a knife to cut the watermelon. Make sure to choose a ripe and sweet watermelon. You can check out some tips on how to pick the best watermelon below.
- Fruit cocktail: This is an essential ingredient in Korean watermelon punch. You will need about 1-1/2 cups of fruit cocktail in heavy syrup or fruit juice. You can also use other canned fruits, such as peaches or pineapples, or fresh fruits, such as strawberries or grapes.
- Lemon-lime soda: This adds some fizz and sweetness to the punch. You will need about 2 cups of lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite or 7 Up. You can also use ginger ale or other carbonated drinks of your choice.
- Milk: This gives the punch a creamy and smooth texture. You will need about 3 tablespoons of milk. You can use any kind of milk you prefer, such as cow’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk.
- Ice: This helps to chill the punch and keep it cold. You will need some ice cubes or crushed ice.
To make the punch, simply follow these steps:
- Place the watermelon and fruit cocktail in a large bowl along with any juice from the fruits.
- Add the lemon-lime soda and the milk to the fruits. Stir gently.
- Taste the punch and adjust the sweetness and acidity by adding more soda, milk, or sugar if needed.
- Add some ice to the punch and serve in glasses or bowls. Garnish with some pine nuts if desired.
How to pick the best watermelon?
Since watermelon is the main ingredient of subak-hwachae, it is important to choose a good one. Here are some tips on how to pick the best watermelon:
- Seeded watermelon will usually be sweeter than seedless ones.
- Color: Pick a watermelon that has a green skin with good contrast between the stripes.
- Yellow spot: Look for a watermelon that has a yellow or golden spot on one side. This is where the watermelon was resting on the ground, and it indicates that it is ripe and sweet.
- End: On the opposite end of the stem, there is a small dot. The smaller the dot, the sweeter the watermelon.
- Sound: Tap on the watermelon and listen to the sound. A ripe and juicy watermelon should sound deep and hollow. A dull sound means that the watermelon is overripe or underripe.
Why drink hwachae?
Hwachae is not only delicious but also beneficial for your health. Here are some reasons why you should drink hwachae this summer:
- It hydrates you: Watermelon is composed of about 92% water, which helps to quench your thirst and replenish your fluids. The other fruits also contain vitamins and minerals that are good for your body.
- It cools you down: Watermelon has a cooling effect on your body temperature, which helps to prevent heatstroke and dehydration. The carbonated drinks also have a refreshing sensation on your tongue and throat.
- It satisfies your sweet tooth: Hwachae is naturally sweetened by the fruits and their juices, which can curb your cravings for sugary snacks. The milk also adds some protein and calcium to the punch, which can make you feel fuller and more satisfied.
Hwachae is a perfect drink for hot summer days, as it is refreshing, tasty, and healthy. It is easy to make with simple ingredients, and you can customize it according to your preferences. Try making hwachae at home and enjoy it with your family and friends. You will love this Korean fruit punch!