Sujeonggwa (Korean Cinnamon Drink)
Sujeonggwa, also called Korean cinnamon punch, is a traditional dessert drink. It’s made with cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar for a unique taste. This refreshing punch is known for its sweet and spicy flavor.
Popular Korean cinnamon drink, sujeonggwa, is a versatile beverage that can be enjoyed both as a cold punch and a hot tea. This drink is made from cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar, and it has a sweet and spicy flavor that is perfect for any occasion.
It typically has a sweet and spicy flavor profile due to its main ingredients: cinnamon and ginger.
The cinnamon provides a warm, aromatic sweetness, while the ginger adds a slightly spicy and pungent kick. This combination results in a comforting and invigorating taste.
Typically served cold, sujeonggwa is a refreshing choice popular both as a dessert and a palate cleanser. This exquisite Korean drink is often enjoyed after meals at Korean BBQ restaurants and serves as a delightful, festive beverage for holiday gatherings.
Two Ways to Enjoy Sujeonggwa
1. Cinnamon punch
Serving sujeonggwa as a cold punch is a popular option, and it is often prepared with ice and garnished with dried persimmon, pine nuts, and jujubes.
This refreshing beverage is perfect for hot summer days or as a dessert drink following a Korean meal. The sweet and spicy notes of cinnamon and ginger complement each other well, making it a favorite choice for those seeking a light dessert with distinctive flavor.
2. Cinnamon tea
On the other hand, when served as a hot tea, Korean cinnamon tea can be a comforting and warming beverage during cold weather or when one is feeling under the weather.
To prepare the drink as a hot tea, heat it along with other ingredients like honey or lemon to enhance its flavor and benefits.
Try barley tea (boricha) as a soothing Korean hot beverage you can enjoy daily. It offers a mild roasted barley flavor that’s easy for anyone to savor.
Aside from its delicious taste, the Korean cinnamon drink offers numerous health benefits. Cinnamon, known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Ginger, another key ingredient in sujeonggwa, also brings anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea benefits, making it a popular home remedy for upset stomachs and digestive issues.
Also immune-boosting properties in both cinnamon and ginger make it an excellent natural remedy for alleviating cold or flu symptoms, offering a soothing touch and a gentle boost to your body’s defenses.
My Best Tips
- Boiling cinnamon and ginger separately in order to fully appreciate the individual qualities of each spice. When boiled together, their flavors may become diluted or muddled, resulting in a less pronounced taste and a loss of their medicinal properties.
- You can adjust the amount of brown sugar according to the level of sweetness you desire.
- For this recipe, I used 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar which provided enough sweetness for my liking.
- For a more enjoyable cold punch experience, add the ice to the punch to keep it cold and refreshing.
- Freeze a portion of cinnamon ginger drink in a zip bag for at least 2-3 hours, then break up the ice into small chunks using a meat hammer or rolling pin.
- While dried persimmon is not an essential ingredient, it makes a beautiful garnish when you serve them as a dessert.
- If using dried persimmon, I recommend to soak it in the punch for 30-60 minutes beforehand, depending on the dryness of the fruit, in order to soften it and make it more enjoyable to eat with a spoon.
- You can find dried persimmon in Korean or other Asian markets during late fall and winter. If they are frozen, simply thaw them at room temperature before using.
How to Make Sujeonggwa
Step 1. Simmer
Prepare two pots that can hold at least 6 cups of liquid. In one pot, add cinnamon sticks, and in the other, add sliced ginger. Pour 6 cups of water into each pot, bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
Step 2. Strain and Sweeten
Strain the cinnamon water and ginger water through a fine strainer into a large pot to remove any debris. Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Allow the drink to cool and then chill it in the refrigerator to serve it cold.
Garnish the sujeonggwa with rolled jujube flower and pine nuts when serving, if desired.
How to Garnish (Optional)
1. Cinnamon ice
For a more enjoyable cold punch experience, add the ice to the punch to keep it cold and refreshing. And making the ice with the cinnamon punch is perfect match.
- Freeze a portion of sujeonggwa in a zip bag for at least 2-3 hours, then break up the ice into small chunks using a meat hammer or rolling pin. Add the ice to the punch to keep it cold and refreshing.
2. Dried jujube and pine nuts
Dried jujube and pine nut are popular garnish for Korean cinnamon punch adding both flavor and texture to the drink.
- To garnish with dried jujube, first, slice the jujube into thin rounds, removing any seeds if necessary. Then, roll each slice into a small flower shape and place it on top of the drink.
- See the tutorial video in the recipe card below.
- You can also add a few pine nuts to the top for an extra crunch. This beautiful and delicious garnish adds an elegant touch to the drink, making it perfect for special occasions or simply to impress your guests.
3. Dried persimmon garnish
While dried persimmon is not an essential ingredient in sujeonggwa, it is often used as a garnish when the drink is served as a dessert.
- If using dried persimmon, remove the stem from the fruit, flatten it with your hand, and soak it in the punch for 30-60 minutes beforehand (depending on the dryness of the fruit) to rehydrate and soften it, making it more enjoyable to eat with a spoon.
To store Korean cinnamon drink, cool the drink to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If the punch contains garnishes of dried fruits and nuts, remove them before storing and add fresh ones when serving. The cinnamon and ginger may settle at the bottom over time, so be sure to stir the punch well before serving.
Try other Korean drink recipes
Sujeonggwa (Korean Cinnamon Drink)
- 2 1/2 oz (70 g) cinnamon sticks
- 2 oz (56 g) ginger, thinly sliced
- 12 cups (3 liter) water, divided
- 1-2 cup (200-400 g) light brown sugar
- dried jujube, as a garnish (optional)
- pine nuts , as a garnish (optional)
- dried persimmon, as a garnish (optional)
- Prepare two pots that can hold at least 6 cups of liquid. In one pot, add cinnamon sticks, and in the other, add sliced ginger. Pour 6 cups of water into each pot, bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
- Strain the cinnamon water and ginger water through a fine strainer into a large pot to remove any debris. Add brown sugar (adjust the amount for your liking) and stir until it is completely dissolved. Allow the drink to cool and then chill it in the refrigerator to serve it cold.
- Garnish the sujeonggwa with rolled jujube flower, pine nuts and dried persimmon when serving, if desired.Notes: For cinnamon punch ice: Freeze a portion of Sujeonggwa in a zip bag for at least 2-3 hours, then break up the ice into small chunks using a meat hammer or rolling pin. Add the ice to the punch to keep it cold and refreshing.If using dried persimmon as a garnish: It is recommended to soak the persimmon in the punch for 30-60 minutes beforehand, depending on the dryness of the fruit, in order to soften it and making it more enjoyable to eat with a spoon.