Drama Drinking: The Art of Kdrama Mixology

It was 2018 and the height of one of Dramaland’s greatest shipping wars.

A Poem a Day (You Who Forgot Poetry) pitted the formidable Ye Liner against the Good Ship Minho. For those who wished to avoid the battles, there was the Island of Neutrality; a tropical paradise of music, food and fun where one could watch the shipping war from a safe place. Duct tape was available to all who wanted it. Why? So that if you were tempted to swim out to one of the ships, you could ask a virtual friend to tape you to a palm tree.

Inspired, a new drink was born. A Duct Tape. A clean, refreshing drink with a fruity garnish that would ensure that, once you drank one, you were not going anywhere.

Duct Tape
60mls gin
30mls soju
A dash of Lillet Blanc 
Garnished with apple

The little found family in Be Melo drinks beer while watching dramas

So was also born the gentle art of Kdrama Kocktails: mixology for those who like to perfectly pair their dramas with alcohol. It’s a tradition that gave us the perfect accompaniment to the vampire drama, Blood (Shiraz), the spy dramedy My Secret Terrius (a Mojito) and the drink of choice for Im Not a Robot (Gin and tonic with lime). Despite the above image, Be Melodramatic is as yet unpaired. Unless we opt for the beer they drink while watching dramas.

As we head into the silly season, it seems a good time to propose some new recipes for our favourite (and “favourite”) 2021 Korean dramas.

Suggest your own or ask your own Kdrama mixologist to whip something up for you

Dali and Gamjatang (the Cocky Prince): Black Velvet

A mix of working class stout and high class sparkling wine, what else says art historian meets purveyor of pork products than a Black Velvet. Paired with both meat and canapes, nothing could be better for touring a local art gallery or binging romcoms in your living room.

Black Velvet
Equals part stout (like Guiness) and sparking wine (even champagne)

The lead character of Dali and Gamjatang; an upper class girl with a bottle of champagne

Inspector Koo: Rusty Nail

It’s no surprise that the best drink for this off-kilter drama about a brilliant alcoholic is the whisky she drinks in vast quantities. While good whisky should be drunk on the rocks (not by the litre out of the bottle), I wouldn’t call Johnnie Walker a good whisky so I think we’re free to mix it up a little. And for a drama like Inspector Koo nothing could be better than a classic Rusty Nail.

Rusty Nail
45mls Scotch whisky
15mls Drambuie

The permanently sloshed Inspector Koo downs a beer

Jirisan: Dark and Stormy

Filmed like a beer commercial and full of lemons (the mountaineering ones, not the cars or the economic theories), there are any number of drinks that could pair with a show like Jirisan. But as our leads venture out onto a mountain during yet another major weather event, you can curl up at home with a small twist on a classic Australian Dark and Stormy.

Dark and Stormy
(Bundaberg) Dark Rum
Ginger Beer
(Optional) Lemon juice
Garnished with a slice of lemon

The two leads of Jirisan hiking through the mountains in a typhoon. They look bedraggled

Squid Game: Dalgona Cocktail

To help wash down the bitter taste of late-capitalist dystopia, here comes this sweet Dalgona-inspired cocktail. It’s more like a dessert than a drink because nothing says sharp social commentary like partying while people’s heads get blown off. More importantly, this recipe has shades of super sweet Maxim coffee, which as we all know is the coffee of the people.

Dalgona Cocktail
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons instant coffee
1.5 tablespoons of hot water
(whip these three ingredients together)
1 shot of Kahlua
1 shot of vodka
Top up with milk (soy or other milk alternatives is fine)

A contestant in the Squid Game dystopia shows off her success to one of the masked guards

Work Later, Drink Now: Candy Cane Martini

The three friends in web drama Work Later, Drink Now have a penchant for lukewarm soju. And while I can’t personally attest to the delights of the room temperature spirit on a cold Christmas day, I can confirm the three would absolutely love a sweet and festive cocktail to get them through another loveless Christmas season. And I’ve substituted in their favourite spirit just to make them love it more.

Candy Cane Martini
15mls soju
15mls vanilla vodka
15mls peppermint schnapps
A dash of grenadine
Garnish with a candy cane (and if you’re keen, crush them and rim the glasses)

The enthusiastic drinkers in Work Later Drink Now at a Christmas party adorned in festive decorations

Sisyphus: Silver Duct Tape

A variation on the classic APAD drink but designed for maximum destructive impact. Instead of gin and soju with a slice of apple, it is instead sake and soju with a lemon twist and is designed to simulate falling from the sky and hopefully missing planes on the way down.
NOTE: Unlike the other drinks in this blog post, nobody is suggesting you actually drink this. But if you do decide to try it – if there’s no photo, it didn’t happen.

Silver Duct Tape
60mls soju
30mls sake
A dash of vermouth 
Garnished with a twist of lemon and rind

The lead of Sisyphus in a plan that's about to crash


3 thoughts on “Drama Drinking: The Art of Kdrama Mixology

      1. Don’t do it! Duct Tape appears to be a recipe for pipe cleaner. Perhaps it’s the dreaded “don’t mix these two chemicals” from the cleaning service training in My Ahjusshi.
        Since Be Melo is one of my all time favs I want to think of a cocktail that would produce mellow. Nothing with tequila for sure, because tequila is a god. Maybe a nice Malbec and a campfire?

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