Koreans have been producing—and drinking—alcohol for centuries. Along with song and dance, alcohol has always been an essential part of the Korean joie de vivre. Koreans drink a lot, but they don't drink just to get drunk. Of course, Koreans enjoy alcohol as a means to make merry and build cohesion between family, friends and coworkers. But alcohol's place in Korean culture goes far beyond that. Alcohol has historically also been a medicine and a means to preserve perishable ingredients. It even has a place in the sacred rites of Korea's Confucian society, including the all-important ancestral remembrance rites. Because of the important role alcohol has played in their society, Koreans have developed sophisticated brewing techniques to produce a wide range of alcoholic tipples.