Restaurant gains popularity with alcoholic ice cream
Web posted at: 3:15 p.m. EST (2015 GMT)
SEOUL, South Korea (Reuters) -- The customers love it -- they're eating so much that some are worried about the drive home.
"If we eat a lot of this (alcohol ice cream) will we get caught for drunk driving?" 50-year-old Kim Jong-Chul asked his friends.
Kim and his friends are some of the crowds of customers coming to the Bae Sang Myeun restaurant in Seoul each day -- everyone wants to sample the famous ice cream made with alcohol.
At first the restaurant served it to attract young people, but older customers and tourists like it as well.
"The wine flavour lingers in my mouth while the ice is melting slowly-- it's nice.", said customer Hong In-Soo.
The restaurant is owned by a brewery (Bae Sang Myeun Brewery Company). It started serving alcoholic ice cream, slush and sherbet a couple of months ago -- and so far it's a big hit.
They mix the ice cream, slush or sherbet with 10 different kinds of traditional wines. Customers describe the flavor as bittersweet.
The president of the brewery company Bae Young-ho says the taste of frozen wine is fresh and very thirst quenching.
"I decided to use ice with Korean traditional wine. I wanted young Koreans and foreigners to enjoy tasting our traditional wine. We're getting a positive response from young people and women," said 39-year-old Bae Young-ho.
About one hundred customers come to sample the famous ice cream each day -- some are curious -- others just have fun with it and use it to toast.
Bae says it's simple to produce the alcoholic ice cream -- but the secret recipe has to do with the choice of wine.
"We could just mix any wine with ice-cream powder. But the real secret is the traditional (Korean) wine we use -- for flavor, strength and taste," Bae said.
If the popularity of the alcoholic ice cream grows it might become available all over South Korea and possibly in other countries.
Bae believes traditional wine is part of South Korea's cultural heritage, so he wants to expand nationwide and to export alcoholic ice cream overseas.
"We have to understand traditional wine is also a cultural asset. Some Japanese companies as well as Koreans are asking for a franchise and we are in discussions now," Bae said.
Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
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