There’s nothing like a cool beverage on a hot summer day. And Koreans have a few tasty options. Today, we’re here to tell you about the Korean milkis drink and how you can enjoy it, too.
What Is Milkis?
Milkis was first sold in South Korea by Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. in April 1989. Unlike the name suggests, this soft drink has no real milk. Instead, it contains skimmed milk powder and milk flavor, which are added to carbonated water.
Image Credits: Image via Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co.
The name is a combination of “soft milk” and “sweet kiss.” The original packaging has the picture of a woman floating over the city while holding a parasol. For its 30th anniversary, Milkis released new images with a young couple floating up in the sky.
Image Credits: Image via Behance
Lotte Chilsung’s slogan was “New feeling of soda beverage,” and Milkis is certainly a different kind of soda! Besides its regular flavor, you can also find it in strawberry, muskmelon, mango, orange, and peach, to name a few. There are even two versions with lactobacillus for extra probiotics!
Image Credits: Tsuki via Instagram
Why Is Milkis So Popular?
To promote the new beverage, Lotte Chilsung launched an ad campaign featuring Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat. Having reached great success with A Better Tomorrow (1986), the actor quickly drew buzz for Milkis with his dazzling smile and catchphrase “I love you, Milkis!” (saranghaeyo milkis, 사랑해요, 밀키스!)
Other celebrities have endorsed Milkis. For example, Wanna One promoted Yo-Hi Water (one of the lactic acid versions) in 2017, while BTS’ RM and Suga made an impromptu ad for Milkis during the first episode of Suchwita (2022).
While Milkis is quite popular with Koreans, it doesn’t seem to appear as often in k-dramas as soju, makgeolli, or even iced Americano. However, it does appear in Reply 1988 (2015).
Image Credits: tvN via LouisBlue
What Is Milkis Used For?
Milkis is great on its own, but Koreans love experimenting with this soda. For starters, you can get milkis-flavored ice cream and shaved ice (bingsu, 빙수), which is perfect for hot weather.
Image Credits: Nadya via Instagram
You can also use milkis in a glaze for pastries, breads, and cakes, as Tours les Jours did when they collaborated with Milkis in 2021.
Image Credits: Tours les Jours Korean via Instagram
Finally, you can make cocktails using milkis. The easiest recipe is 3 ounces of soju to 3 ounces Milkis, but you can get more creative. One recipe combines Milkis with Sakura syrup and Roku Gin for a unique concoction. Whatever you make with Milkis, Seoulmates, remember to drink in moderation!
Image Credits: Carly via Gluten Free With Me
Seoulbox: Bringing Milkis (and Other Snacks) to You
Many people like Korean snacks but can’t find them in their area. We put together our Seoulboxes to help Seoulmates around the world try delicious food and drinks from Korea. Milkis has appeared in several of our boxes, most recently last month’s Han River Picnic box.
This month’s theme is Travel to Korea, and by ordering one of our boxes you’re one step closer to doing just that! Inside are 18 items, including snacks, a drink, K-pop merch, and a beautiful Seoulzine. And there’s even an option for our vegetarian Seoulmates. So what are you waiting for? Get a Seoulbox today!
Have you tried Milkis before? What’s your favorite flavor? Tell us below, and don’t forget to stay hydrated this summer!