|Division||Park Jae-seo||Joe Ok-wha|
|Appointed master||Park Jae-seo||Joe Ok-wha|
|Appointed Detali||Artisan of Andong soju||Artisan of Andong sojua|
The process of making the nuruk (fermentation starter) of Andong soju is: wash and dry wheat, crush it, and mix it with water by hand. Then spread out a bojagi (a cloth made of ramie), play a circular frame on top of the bojagi, pour in the mixed nuruk, add one more bojagi on top of this and turn it over by foot, flattening the mix. Then remove the nuruk from its frame and ferment it for 20 days. Next, after crushing it, dry it for a day, and to get rid of the smell of the gokja (hangul: 곡자; another word for nuruk), let it accumulate dew for one night.
When making the hard-boiled rice, wash and soak rice in water and steam it in a rice steamer. Finished hard-steamed rice is smooth and has a polish. Put it on a straw mat in the shade and cool it.
When both the nuruk and hard-steamed rice are completed, mix them by hand and put them in a liquor jug with water for more than about 15 days. When it has aged, its color is yellowish, and it should have a savory taste.
Boil the aged liquor in a sot (hangul: 솥; a traditional Korean pot) and put a sojugeori (hangul: 소주걸이; a traditional Korean tool used for filtering liquor) and a cooling device on the sot, and spread sirutbun (hangul: 시룻번; dough used to make an air-tight seal) on the gap between the sojugeori and cooling device so that no steam escapes. When the aged liquor is heated, it then vaporizes, and the vaporized steam is cooled by the cold water in the cooling device. Then soju flows out via the pipe in the sojugeori, and you have Andong soju.
It is presumed that the development of soju in Andong is related to the Yuan Dynasty's influx into the Korean Peninsula in the 13th century, because the Yuan Dynasty's supply base that was aiming for an expedition to Japan was in Andong.
Andong soju's origin dates to the Silla period. The distillation skill developed by alchemists in Arab regions, people of the Silla were engaging in entrepot trade actively with Arab nations at that time. Warrior statues with exotic features and Persian glass found at Goereung (hangul: 괘릉; an ancient tomb of Silla in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do is regarded as proof of this relation between Silla and Arab regions. From that time, the brewing of hard liquor was passed down with Persian glass. Also, China had been drinking hard liquor from the period of the Tang Dynasty. Through the close relationship between Silla and the Tang Dynasty, it can be presumed that hard liquor was drunken in Korea since the Silla period.
The artisans of Andong soju are Joe Ok-wha(hangul: 조옥화; hanja: 趙玉花) and Park Jae-seo(hangul: 박재서). These artisans keep alive the traditional ways of making Andong soju alive through the Korean government's support for discovering traditional liquors since the 1986 Asian Games and 1988 Summer Olympics.
After the Silla period, the skills of making Andong soju were passed down in Andong. Joe Ok-wha makes and preserves this Andong soju, so she was designated as "Gyeongsangbuk-do intangible cultural property No.12" on May 13, 1987, and she was also designated as "Korean food grand master No.20" on September 18, 2000. Now her daughter-in-law Bae Kyong-hwa (hangul: 배경화) and son Kim Yeon-park (hangul: 김연박) continue the tradition.
Park Jae-seo is Ban Nam-park (hangul: 반남박)'s descendant in the 25th generation of carrying on the legacy of Andong soju that has been passed down in his family for 500 years. For preserving this tradition, Park Jae-seo was designated as "Korean food grand master No.6" in July, 1995.
Andong soju is the only specialty to have two Korean food grand masters, because Joe Ok-wha and Park Jae-seo's way of making it and materials are different from each other.