What an intimidating name for dried magnolia berries. I have procrastinated in making this because every version I have been served has been both too sour and too sweet for me. But I like what happened when I put a handful (I’ve small hands, so probably 12-15 berries) into a liter of cold water and let it sit covered for 24 hours. Drunk without added sweeteners, lightly cold-brewed omija is subtle and refreshing, much like a lemon water, but an omija water instead. Omija water is loads prettier, and lets me feel like I’m participating in the culture. Yay! People who want this to be a more intense, authentic experience can boil it for a bit, add some sort of sweetener, and cool it down before drinking. A popular prepraration is to make a lovely punch of it called hwachae by adding floating flowers made of Korean pear (or watermelon, strawberries, or kiwis or whatever fruit floats your boat), chungpomuk, and a sprinkle of pine nuts. I don’t care for it much fancied up this way, but then the color will be prettier, the whole thing very Instagrammable, and the flavor unforgettable(-y tart and sweet).
Flavors: Berries, Sour, Sweet