This drink takes a long, long time to make - worth it? Absolutely. Delicate, sweet, and gratifying, you won't make Sikhye everyday - but it's a drink you should try to make at least once.
- 1 cup malt barley powder
- 1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain rice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Garnish: pine nuts
- Pour malt barley powder and 5 cups warm water into a bowl and stir together. Set aside and allow mixture to ferment, about 1 1/2 hours. (you'll know when the mixture is ready when the sediment has sunk to the bottom, leaving a milky liquid)
- Pour cooked rice and malt barley liquid (only clear liquid off top, leaving sediment behind) into a rice cooker, 3/4 full (if there is excess liquid, set aside for later use), and stir together. Cover and set to warm for about 3 hours.
- It's ready once a few grains of rice begin to float. Strain rice from liquid and rinse under cold water. Pour rice into a mixing bowl and stir together with cold water. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
- Pour liquid into a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and stir in sugar. Stir until dissolved. Remove foam from top - this will improve the flavor.
- Remove mixture from heat and pour into a bowl or pitcher. Place sikhye in the refrigerator until cold, 4 to 6 hours.
- To serve: Ladle sikhye into small, clear cups and finish with about 1 tablespoon rice and a few pine nuts. Serve.