As mentioned earlier, you can simply pour the beer on top of the soju, or drop a shot of soju into your beer, or you can get more creative. One method is to precariously balance your shot above your glass on a pair of chopsticks. You then hit your table and send the shot crashing into the beer.
- 0.1 Is it okay to mix soju and beer?
- 0.2 Why do you mix soju with beer?
- 0.3 What is a soju and beer mix called?
- 0.4 Does soju in beer taste good?
- 1 Is soju and beer strong?
- 2 Is soju a shot or beer?
- 3 Why is soju so tasty?
- 4 Does soju taste better cold or warm?
- 5 Does soju burn like vodka?
- 6 Will soju give you a hangover?
Is it okay to mix soju and beer?
1. Somaek (Soju bombs) – This has got to be the easiest Soju cocktail to make, simply because you only need 2 ingredients – Soju and beer. Any Soju flavours with any beer is fine, but we would recommend a lighter beer like Carlsberg, Heineken or Budweiser, Recommended Mix:
1/2 glass filled with beer of your choice 2 shots of soju (more if you’re feeling extra alcoholic)
You can get these ingredients in any supermarket in Singapore. But if it’s too much of a hassle for you, or if it is past 10.30pm (prohibited alcohol sale time), you can get our Somaek bundles, We’ll deliver them to you chilled in less than 45 mins.
Why do you mix soju with beer?
The Soju Bomb packs a huge punch. – Photo by Marisa Chafetz for Supercall Don’t judge a Bomb by its cover. The Soju Bomb (aka Somaek) resembles its cousin, the Sake Bomb, when the shot is posed on chopsticks above a glass (or lined up in an epic Seoul Train ). But the difference in flavor and ABV is significant.
Soju packs a bigger punch than sake, coming in at two to three times the proof. It’s also paired with feathery light Korean beer (local favorites are Cass Fresh and Hite), which requires a very specific ratio of spirit to brew: three parts soju to seven parts beer, to be exact. Achieve this perfect formula, and you’ll experience the puzzling chemistry that makes the drink so popular.
The combination brings out the sweetness of the beer, smooths the grainy edges of the soju, and makes the tall glass oh-so easy to slam down.
What is a soju and beer mix called?
|Served||Straight up : chilled, without ice|
Somaek ( 소맥 ) is a beer cocktail made with soju and beer, The beer used is typically a lager-style.
Does soju in beer taste good?
What makes a good beer and somaek combination? – There’s no universally agreed upon ratio of soju and beer. Truthfully, I’ve always just kind of eyeballed it depending on my mood and mixed accordingly. What you really want is a good balance between the taste of beer and soju.
One study surveying 1,860 people asserted that the “golden” ratio was 30% soju to 70% beer (3:7 ratio). At this ratio, they were able to slightly mute the taste of soju but still have both the freshness of the beer and the slight kick from the soju. It’s kind of like adding hot sauce to a dish. I don’t want to be overwhelmed, but I do want to sweat a little.
Like hot sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, and sauce really you’ll probably need to experiment to find your “golden” ratio (good thing the experimenting is fun). There are also several ways to make your somaek. Again, I’m pretty simple and prefer to just pour soju into a cup of beer and gently stir the contents.
A lot of my friends drop a shot of soju into a glass of beer and throw it back. If I’m really amped up, I’ll create a ” soju bomb ” (similar to sake bombs) where you would place a pair of chopsticks parallel to each other (with about an inch of space between) atop a glass of beer. You then place a shot glass of soju on top of the chopsticks and start slapping the table in conjunction with your friends so the shot glass falls in to the beer to drink.
(Usually obnoxiously chanting something over and over like a bunch of monkeys) Despite my simple antics, somaek creation is serious business. In fact, according to koreatimes, mixing beer and soju is called “manufacturing” with Hite Jinro providing licenses to 100 people who posted their own somaek recipes on Hite’s blog site, beer2day.com.
|Component||Taste (Beer – Soju (1-10)||Pairing (Jeckyl and Hyde – Bonnie and Clyde) (1-10)||Smoothness (Awkward Turtle – Smooth Criminal) (1-10)|
|Budweiser and Chamisul Fresh||5||7||7|
|Cass and Chamisul Fresh||5||8||6|
|Guiness and Chamisul Fresh||6||2||3|
|Hite and Chamisul Fresh||6||7||6|
|Hoegaarden and Chamisul Fresh||5||7||6|
|Sweetwater and Chamisul Fresh||2||5||8|
We aren’t food or alcohol experts, we’re regular guys (except maybe Jinwoo) who enjoy good food and drinks and are willing to research and serve as guinea pigs to help create a better experience for all. To ensure consistency, we mixed in 1 shot of soju and 2 ½ shots of beer for each somaek across all beers.
We also chose to stick with the lightest soju that we had previously tested, Jinro’s Chamisul Fresh, and tested a variety of beers including 3 lagers, 1 stout, 1 IPA, and 1 ale. We included 3 lagers in this taste test because we wanted to include two of Korea’s most popular beers as well as a popular American beer.
The beers and soju were refrigerated to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. After each somaek taste test we rinsed our palates with lemon and gurgled our mouth with water. Lastly, we conducted this test over a two day period, with 3 somaek combinations per day.
Is soju and beer strong?
Soju Goes Where Vodka Cannot Tread You can get a mojito, a cosmo and even assorted martinis at Vine, a new fondue restaurant and nightspot in Hollywood. That wouldn’t be unusual at most bars in town, but Vine has only a beer and wine permit. It’s not breaking any laws, so what’s in the cocktails? Soju, a Korean variation on vodka traditionally made from rice but more commonly from sweet potatoes these days.
- With 24% alcohol, soju is stronger than beer (4% to 5%) or wine (about 13%) but packs a weaker punch than virtually all vodkas, which are 40% alcohol.
- A part of traditional Korean cuisine, soju is often enjoyed with meals, but because many Korean mom and pop restaurants had only beer and wine licenses, they were unable to sell it.
(A new “general” or distilled spirits license costs $12,000 or more, according to Dave Gill, a district administrator for the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and a beer and wine license runs only $548 and often faces far less opposition from neighbors.) After some lobbying by the Korean Restaurant Owners Assn., a bill by Sen.
- Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles) passed in 1998, allowing the sale of soju by establishments previously licensed to sell only beer and wine in California.
- Soju is served as a traditional drink accompanying spicy Korean meals and used to enhance the meal’s flavor,” reads the analysis of the bill.
- At first, few bar owners outside the Asian community were aware of the bill, so sales of soju were limited to Korean and a few Japanese places.
(The Japanese version, shochu, is almost identical and also can now be poured legally by establishments with beer and wine licenses.) But sales of soju shot up immediately, says Alex Kim, marketing manager for Jinro America Inc., the largest manufacturer of soju.
- We saw a 35% to 40% increase in the first year since the law passed.” And he thinks that’s only the beginning, once the traditional Korean beverage finds new drinkers.
- Soju is enormous outside of the United States: Jinro sold 55 million cases around the world in 2001.
- We haven’t aggressively marketed it to the mainstream, but we have a plan to do that in 2003,” Kim says.
The company will start where so many national trends are born: in Southern California. David Reiss, proprietor of Sugar in Santa Monica, believes his was the first non-Asian establishment in Los Angeles to take advantage of the law. He inherited a beer and wine license when he took over the club about four years ago but was unable to upgrade to a full liquor license.
He assumed that meant serving only beer, wine, champagne and sake. “We got our sake from Mutual Trading, and a guy at the warehouse asked why I didn’t also buy soju, since he knew I had a beer and wine license,” Reiss recalls. “Once I found out about soju, it made our business completely different.” Sugar offers a menu of cocktails made with Kyungwoul “Green” soju, produced by Doosan Kyungwoul Co.
in Seoul, which Reiss describes as “pretty neutral in flavor.” Few order shots of the stuff, but soju mixed in Red Bull is popular, as are standards from lemon drops to cosmos, he says-pretty much everything where you’d use vodka.” He said he’s sure other bars and clubs will catch on fast.
- In fact, he’s the one who told Vine’s owner, Simon Jones, about soju.
- He said, ‘You’re going to make a lot of money with this!’ ” Jones spent a few days experimenting with the stuff and doing research.
- We went to some Korean restaurants,” he says, “and saw that they served it straight up, or shaken with lemon or orange-flavored extract.” Servers at Vine don’t go out of their way to explain soju.
“If people ask for vodka-and-tonic or gin-and-tonic, what we serve. We tell them if they don’t like it, they don’t have to drink it,” Jones explains. Vine’s bartenders mix up a variety of soju-based cocktails, many of which are copies of vodka- and other spirits-based classics, as well as a few originals.
As soju contains only about half the alcohol in vodka, it makes cocktails that feel and taste different. Soju straight up is easy to drink, mild and fairly neutral but a bit watery. Unlike vodka, soju doesn’t turn syrupy when left in the freezer. Few serious drinkers would confuse a shot of the stuff with an equal dose of super-premium vodkas like Pearl.
“It tastes like a ‘well’ vodka,” says Reiss. “Like Smirnoff.” It’s in the custom cocktails at Vine that soju shines. Windex may have a less-than-appealing name, but the electric blue libation, concocted from soju, blue curacao, orange juice and ginger, has a pleasant thickness and sweetness.
And the sour apple martini smells like fresh sliced apples and has a pleasant puckery quality. Set decorator Ann Shea was eager to try the new drinks when she noticed Vine’s list. “The lemon ginger cocktail tasted really good, like a martini, but not as harsh or strong,” she says.”I don’t usually drink hard liquor,” she adds.
“Too much of a buzz too quickly. But I don’t feel that way with soju. I can have three drinks and feel OK.” With its lower alcohol level, soju may be the drink for people who enjoy sipping a few cocktails over the course of an evening but don’t want to get drunk.
- But will this newfound ability to pour soju-based drinks without a full liquor license have adverse consequences? “I’ve done some checking with our offices,” says Gill, “and we have not had any problems with the sale or service of soju in our licensed locations.
- Most of our licensees want to do a good job, and if this allows them to provide alcoholic beverages that are less intoxicating, that is not a bad thing.” Sugar, 814 Broadway, Santa Monica, (310) 899-1989.
Vine, 1235 N. Vine St., Hollywood, (323) 960-0800. : Soju Goes Where Vodka Cannot Tread
How do you not get drunk on soju?
Water and food are your friends – For every alcoholic drink, have a glass of water or a soft drink (you don’t have to tell anyone it’s not alcoholic). Make sure you also have a meal if you’re drinking. It helps to slow the effects of the alcohol and is (hopefully) also delicious.
Is soju a shot or beer?
This week, the 2018 Winter Olympics will kick off in PyeongChang, South Korea, While the athletes probably won’t be among this group (at least not until they’re finished with competition), a good number of people will celebrate meals by knocking back some soju, Soju is traditionally consumed as shots. Getty Images How is it made? Traditional soju is made from a blend of rice and grains. From the 1960s to the 1990s, using rice was banned in soju production because it was in such short supply, so sojus were made with other starches like sweet potatoes and wheat.
Even though the ban is no longer in place, many soju producers look beyond rice for their starches. How is it consumed? In Korean company, soju is typically drunk out of small glasses and imbibers don’t traditionally serve themselves. “It’s very interactive,” says Simon Kim, the owner of Cote, a new and buzzy Korean steakhouse in New York City, which serves four premium sojus and uses the liquor in cocktails.
“I pour you a glass, you pour me a glass, we toast, drink, and then do it all over again.” Since it’s about 20-percent ABV, it sits somewhere between wine and harder booze like gin and whiskey in terms of potency. Soju is known for its green bottles. Getty Images What does it taste like? “Rubbing alcohol,” says Kim. “Watered-down vodka” is another way he describes the flavor. The taste can vary, but in cocktails you’ll see it used as a vodka substitute. How much does it cost? Next to nothing, which probably explains its popularity. Courtesy Chum Churum Original Soju (375-ml) Buy Now $8.99 Jinro 24 Soju (1.75 L) Buy Now $16.99 Simon Kim owns Cote, New York City’s first Korean steakhouse. Gary He Contributing Digital Editor Sam Dangremond is a Contributing Digital Editor at Town & Country, where he covers men’s style, cocktails, travel, and the social scene.
Is Korean soju like beer?
What a Newbie Needs to Know about Soju, One of the World’s Most Popular Spirits Even if you fancy yourself a true connoisseur of liquors, you may be surprised to learn that based on the sales, the most popular spirit in the world isn’t vodka, whisky or rum but soju, a traditional Korean drink.
(The soju brand Jinro is the best-selling spirit in the world, according to,) Though many Westerners once tended to dismiss soju as a low-alcohol “Korean vodka” you might quaff at a karaoke bar, the liquor is becoming increasingly visible in the West, and you may find yourself downing a shot or two at a fancy bar sooner than you think.
“Soju’s on a similar trajectory as mezcal,” said Kyungmoon Kim, former head of wine and beverage at the Michelin-starred Jungsik restaurant in New York, and founder of KSM Imports, which specializes in artisanal liquors from South Korea. “Ten or 15 years ago, nobody thought of mezcal except as a cheap bottle with a little worm inside that gave you a headache.
- Now there are so many different mezcals with different price points, depending on where the mezcal came from, up to $200 a bottle, and people are starting to understand the flavor profile and story behind each product.
- Soju right now everyone knows as flavorless, green-bottle soju, so we’re trying to change people’s perceptions to see that soju is a beverage with a lot of flavor and complexity.” Pexels / Roi Mojado Soju is an alcoholic beverage distilled from various starchy crops, originally and primarily still produced on the Korean peninsula.
The alcohol content can range anywhere from around 15% to over 50%, and the quality can vary greatly. It got its start in the 13th century, when invading Mongols brought with them distillation techniques they themselves had learned in the Middle East and similar to those still used today to make single-malt scotch or cognac.
“Soju” in fact means “burnt liquor,” in reference to how it’s made. At this point, soju was made only from rice wine, and averaged about 40% to 50% alcohol. Eventually, each town of a reasonable size had its own local soju distiller; those distillers sold to their neighbors and had a recipe that was handed down from generation to generation.
In 1965, amid shortages of the staple of the Korean diet, the South Korean government passed a law that forbade rice in the making of soju, so soju makers switched to substitutes like barley, sweet potatoes, wheat and tapioca. To increase profits, they began diluting soju, too, a trend that continues to this day, as well as adding sweeteners and other flavors to make their product more palatable.
- Those changes also had unintended consequences in shaking up the South Korean alcohol industry and have been blamed for giving rise to a heavy drinking culture in the country.
- It forced a lot of small brewers to close down, and the big conglomerates who could use barley or sweet potato or even imported tapioca to keep the costs down were the only ones to survive,” Kim said.
“Those products made sense at a time when people barely made enough money to bring food to the table and needed to get through the day, and cheap soju still brings nostalgic memories for our fathers’ and grandfathers’ generations, but the tradition of distilled rice wine pretty much disappeared.” In 1999, the government lifted the rice ban, but cheap soju only continued to grow in popularity both inside and outside of South Korea.
Still, artisanal soju makers have started to gain a following by resurrecting the age-old methods and putting out higher-alcohol soju made from rice. Though it’s tempting to compare Korea’s most famous alcoholic beverage to Japan’s most famous alcoholic beverage, sake, that’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges situation.
Sake is a rice wine (though it’s actually brewed like beer), while soju is a distilled beverage. Koreans have their own rice wine, makgeolli, which is an analog to Japanese sake, while Japan has shochu, which is similar to soju. (“Soju” and “shochu” are even written with the same Chinese characters.) Soju is mostly drunk as a shot, downed in a single gulp.
The host will serve the eldest guest first, then everyone else. Instead of “cheers,” say ” geonbae, ” which literally means “dry the glass” and is a sign of respect to the pourer. Always finish what’s in your glass before accepting another pour, and no one should ever fill their glass themselves. Serve and receive pours of soju with both hands—to do otherwise is disrespectful.
There’s a misconception floating around that you have to turn your head to the side and look away from the pourer when you drink, but that’s probably based on a foreigner misreading the fact that eye contact is not common practice in Korean culture—it’s seen as aggressive in a society where polite deference is the default.
Popular soju-based drinks include what’s sometimes referred to as a “yogurt soju cocktail,” which isn’t made with actual yogurt but with Yakult, a sweet, milky Japanese probiotic drink that comes in small plastic bottles. The recipe’s as simple as they get: Mix one bottle of Yakult with one bottle of soju (any inexpensive, “green bottle” soju will do).
Not surprisingly, it’s a cocktail associated with younger drinkers. More broadly popular is somaek, a portmanteau of “soju” and “maekju,” Korean for “beer.” It’s basically a boilermaker—drop a shot of soju in a glass of beer and gulp it down. Soju is an easy substitute for vodka in most recipes.
Kim recommends soju in any of the martini family of cocktails, while barley soju, with its spicier grain finish, works well in place of whiskey. If you can find it, a pine-based soju is an excellent stand-in for gin. Look for higher-quality artisanal soju, if possible, as you’ll find it much more complex and intriguing.
Pairing soju with food isn’t a big thing in Korea, as the typical meal doesn’t involve courses but everything on the table at once in a communal setting, so you can’t approach it like you would a wine pairing, where the food and wine get equal billing.
- It can give a supporting complement to the food rather than, like wine, actualy making the food more complex,” Kim said.
- The traditional rice-based soju goes well with beef dishes, and there’s barley soju that works nicely with pork belly.” Soju typically lives in the Asian section of your local liquor store, alongside Japanese sake and shochu.
It’s also possible to order soju online in most states. Most of what you’ll find in the States will be the cheaper, mass-market stuff, but it’s worth exploring your better-connected stores for the occasional standouts that have made it across the Pacific.
- The company dominates the soju market, accounting for half of South Korea’s soju sales.
- It’s reintroduced old-style packaging, specifically a sky-blue bottle with the label “Jinro Is Back,” which contains a clean, neutral soju that is a pleasant, refreshing example of what a modern soju can be.
- By The Han, is made from the ripened Asian golden plum and cold-filtered and has a floral aroma with dry aftertaste.
“Seoul Night will take your soju game to the next level, and you will never look back,” Kim said., by Solsonju, is made from an old family recipe with rice, pine needles and spruce tea. Kim described it as “exceptionally nuanced, yet offers a refreshing finish with a hint of juniper and sansho pepper spice.” Considered the most exclusive soju available today, Samhae soju was once served only to Korean aristocracy, and today boasts the Intangible Cultural Heritage stamp from the government.
How many shots of soju does it take to get drunk?
Shots – As mentioned above, it can take between five to seven soju shots to get intoxicated. But if you have low alcohol tolerance, you may feel tipsy after four to five shots of soju (or half bottles) and six to seven shots (or more) if you’re body can tolerate more alcohol.
Why is soju so tasty?
What Does Soju Taste Like? – Soju is a slightly sweet neutral spirit, similar to vodka. It’s often created with wheat, sweet potatoes, and tapioca, lending it a somewhat sugary flavor when compared to other spirits.
Does soju taste better cold or warm?
tastes like cleaning solvent. Thanks, Korea. – Can soju, the best-selling booze in the world, conquer the American palate? Photo by Lee Jae Won / Reuters This Thursday, Aug.15, South Korea will celebrate the 68th anniversary of the Allies’ victory over—and hence Korea’s liberation from—the Empire of Japan.
Many, many flags will be raised, just as they are every other major civic holiday. Many, many, many glasses of soju will be raised, also, just as they are every other single day in South Korea. It is difficult to overstate how much of this stuff—most traditionally distilled from rice and conventionally described as a low-proof “Korean vodka”—the population goes through.
Last month, K-pop star Psy—whose ” Gangnam Style,” viewed a billion times over, remains the most-watched video on YouTube—told the Sunday Times that soju was his ” best friend,” prompting his fans to explain that he is not, when viewed in proper cultural context, a degenerate lush: “As anyone who has ever lived or worked in South Korea can attest to, Koreans (particularly the men) drink for just about every occasion, and often times without a specific reason at all.” The statistically typical South Korean adult drinks more than three times as much booze as his American counterpart, a chart-topping 9.6 liters of liquor per year,
- Whether he ought to slow down a bit is a matter of dispute.
- Indeed, the record reflects that disputes—in the form of drunken fistfights —are no small part of the soju lifestyle.) But there is no doubt that the thirst for the native spirit—a 9-million-bottle-a-day habit—is responsible, year after year, for Jinro soju ‘s ranking as the best-selling booze brand in the world,
We may safely expect Jinro to sell about 60 million 9-liter cases this year and for the runner-up, Smirnoff vodka, to move about 25 million. The only other field in which South Korea is so dominant is Olympic archery (a sport which, ironically or not, demands a steadiness of hand and soul inconsistent with the soju-hangover lifestyle).
- Can this beverage conquer the American palate? Considering the blandness of soju—which tends to taste slightly sweet with round notes of tropical fruit or sharp ones of cheap syrup but really mostly tastes like nothing—I’d say it’s got a decent shot.
- Soju cocktails are appearing up and down the West Coast (including at Dodger Stadium, where concessioners sell bottles of Jinro’s Chamisul adorned with Psy’s face ), and because lobbyists in California have persuaded legislators of soju’s centrality to Korean culture, it is available at ” establishments previously licensed to sell only beer and wine,” In New York, the fellows behind the fashionable Momofuku empire continue to mess around with apple-soju aperitifs and lychee-soju slushies, while the restaurateurs on somewhat less fashionable West 32nd Street—on the blocks known locally as Koreatown—continue to serve soju-and-whatever-kind-of-fruit-juice-is-around.
(A soju-and-whatever-juice is a refreshing complement to Korean barbecue, a cuisine best enjoyed—as it can be in Koreatown —beneath a white baby grand adjacent to an indoor waterfall,) The nice lady who makes those overpriced seaweed snacks has a soju bloody mary for you.
Herewith, tips for serving the world’s best-selling booze. Or not. Ceremony In Korea, soju intake is highly ritualized, as described in this Harvard anthropology paper on the qualia of drinking and also in this National Geographic Traveller piece : “I learned that by holding the bottle in both hands, I would be showing respect, and by turning and covering my mouth while imbibing, I was displaying even greater regard for older or higher-ranking colleagues.” The travel writer, eager to be a polite guest, fails to mention one thing: With many of the low-end brands—and there are a lot of low-end brands—covering one’s mouth with one’s hand while imbibing soju is a reflex flowing from the sensation that one may not be able to keep it down.
Serving Soju is best served ice-cold, neat, as a small pour in a chilled traditional cup, over and over again, until the Samsung executive hosting you pulls out his corporate credit card. Consuming Soju is usually best when slammed briskly, especially if it’s Jinro Chamisul Classic, a brand distinguished by its oily burn.
- For a high-quality soju sipping experience on a budget, set sail for Charm Island soju,
- When I tell you about its notes of whipped cream and vanilla, you may get the idea that Charm Island is located just off the coast of Candyland, but it’s relatively mellow—as clean and subtle as a beverage reminiscent of coconut-cream pie can possibly be.
Bottle size In Western stores and semi-Americanized restaurants, the most popular bottle of the most popular labels of this most popular beverage is the 375-milliliter bottle, The real fun involves 200-milliliter bottle of Jinro 24, and that’s because it’s not a bottle.
- It’s, like, a juice box,
- Very convenient for traveling,
- I stuck a tongue depressor into a carton of Jinro 24, put it in the freezer, and dreamed about it turning into a jumbo popsicle.
- In liquid form, Jinro 24 is inoffensive with a few earthy notes, as befits an unfussy distillate of sweet potatoes and tapioca.) Unfortunately, it wouldn’t freeze all the way.
(Jinro 24 is among the stiffest of mass-market sojus—24 percent alcohol—which is another reason it’s good for traveling.) So instead, I rinsed a chilled old-fashioned glass with pear liqueur, dumped the soju slush in, squeezed a lemon on top, and declared a lazy victory.
- Elementary-Level Mixing Tips Online research indicates that watermelon-soju cocktails are somewhat popular.
- In-the-field reporting—that is, bumbling into a Koreatown restaurant which, lacking a white piano or an indoor waterfall, is decorated with old chopstick wrappers scrawled with patrons’ messages—indicates that people who love watermelon-soju cocktails will express it by writing, “I ♥ watermelon soju.” Ask yourself: Are those the kind of people I want to be hosting? Intermediate-Level Mixing Tips I arrived at this recipe after realizing that soju is so soft an ingredient that too much of any other ingredient will fully unveil its vodka-like lack of character.
With my blessings, please substitute any other Pacific-Rim white liquor, such as blanco tequila, for the pisco. The Sassy Sojurita 2½ ounces soju ½ ounce fresh lime juice barspoon orange liqueur 2 dashes pisco Shake quickly but hard with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Serve. A Special Tribute to the Well-Known Soju of Our Supreme Leader There is a South Korean national named Il Woo Park who is a legal permanent resident of the United States and, allegedly, a spy, and whose FBI file is, I presume on the basis of this TPM story, totally bonkers. He somehow has sufficient contacts among his home country’s totalitarian neighbor to have scored a job as the importer of Pyongyang Soju,
This seems to be the only North Korean product available for the sale in the U.S. I purchased a bottle at a liquor store on Broadway in downtown Manhattan. I am wincing at that bottle as I type. What is Pyongyang Soju made of? “73% maize, 25% rice, and 2% glutinous rice.” What is its slogan? “Well-known soju.” How stiff is it? “Alc.23% by volume.” How do North Koreans drink it? I will never know.
North Korea South Korea
Does soju burn like vodka?
The best-selling spirit in the world isn’t a type of whiskey, vodka or rum—it’s soju, a clear, distilled Korean liquor made from rice. Soju, the national drink of South Korea, is the best-selling liquor in the world by volume and sales and has only been growing in recent years.
- Despite the worldwide sales numbers of soju, the spirit isn’t well known in the United States.
- However, what was once an underrated beverage in the West, enjoying soju only continues to increase in popularity due to the rise of Korean food.
- Soju was first distilled in Korea during the 1300s.
- Historians believe that the Mongols brought the Persian technique of distilling arak to Korea.
Soju is traditionally made from rice, but that changed during the Korean War amid shortages. Distilling rice was banned, so Koreans started making soju with alternative starches like wheat, sweet potatoes and tapioca. The ban was lifted in the late 1990s, but many of the best-selling brands in Korea still use alternative starches.
Soju is distilled like vodka and means “burned liquor,” referring to how the alcohol is distilled at a high temperature. Soju has a clean taste and is a slightly sweet neutral spirit. It is often called Korean vodka because of its neutral flavor, though most commercial soju sold today has a sweeter and less aggressive flavor than vodka.
Soju also doesn’t have the harsh alcohol burn, thanks to having around half the percentage of alcohol. At its most basic, soju has a 20-24% ABV, but the alcohol content can range anywhere from 15% to over 50%. Thanks to lax laws regarding the ingredients used to make soju, the taste and quality can also vary considerably.
Soju is usually consumed neat, often chilled and sipped straight in small glasses, but it’s also mixed into cocktails and even beer. High-proof soju will stand up better in cocktails, as the softer versions can get lost behind a drink’s other flavors. Although there are not many well-known soju-specific cocktails outside of Korea, soju is an easy substitute for vodka in most recipes, and bartenders worldwide are reimagining favorite cocktails with the spirit.
Much like vodka, soju is made today in a variety of flavors. It appeals primarily to younger drinkers and can taste like spiked fruit juice. There is a customary way to drink soju. Traditionally, soju is enjoyed as a communal drink along with food and snacks, and one never pours their own soju.
Will soju give you a hangover?
No Tylenol Required David Lansing writes about wine and spirits for The Times. You know what gives you a hangover. But do you know why some spirits are worse than others? Congeners, that’s why. Nasty things that drop in, like uninvited guests, during the distillation process.
There are two truths about congeners: that more of them come along for the ride in darker spirits such as rum or whiskey (on the plus side, these impurities give some spirits their taste and smell), and that some can be filtered out through the distillation process. Which brings us to Korea’s unofficial national drink, soju.
Like vodka, soju can be distilled from any number of grains and is basically tasteless. It also has about half the alcohol content of most vodkas. Does this mean you can drink a lot and not get a hangover? No. Soju is full of impurities, stuff that can leave you with a thumping headache and a bit of an upset tummy in the morning.
But then there’s Jinro Chamjinisulro Soju. Chamisul, as we like to call it, is filtered four times through a secret ingredient: bamboo charcoal. “In Korea, everyone knows that bamboo charcoal is the best way to purify things,” says Alex Kim of Jinro America. In fact, says Kim, his mom used to throw a chunk of bamboo charcoal in the pot when she made rice.
“I asked her why, and she said it cleans your digestive system.” But does bamboo charcoal prevent hangovers? “Definitely,” he says. Which is good enough for me. Now if only brewers would use bamboo charcoal to filter my favorite beer.
*Chamisul Soju sells for $4 to $15 a bottle at Korean markets, including:California Market
450 S. Western Ave. (213) 382-9444 Hannam Chain Super Market 2740 W. Olympic Blvd. (213) 382-2922 Han Kook Super Market 124 N. Western Ave. (323) 469-8935 Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week’s best events, to help you explore and experience our city. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. : No Tylenol Required
Can you get drunk with 2 shots of soju?
The average number of shots that it takes to get a person tipsy drunk is roughly 7 shots or 1 bottle of soju. However, no one ever really stops at one bottle! Once you get to 2, you’re definitely going to be drunk. At 3, you’ll likely not remember anything the next day!
Do you sip or shoot soju?
How to Drink Soju – The most common way to drink soju is neat, chilled, and from a shot glass. Somaek, a portmanteau for soju and maekju (Korean for beer), is also a popular way to enjoy the spirit. Somaek is prepared by mixing a few shots of soju into a light beer (Hite and Cass are classic go-to’s).
- Lighter soju styles are sometimes used in cocktails, but not prevalent in cocktail bars,” says Vida.
- I guess it’s like any spirit really, you mix, chill, or shoot the lower quality stuff, and drink the good ones neat.” Premium soju, which is generally higher in ABV (around 40%), works well in stirred, stronger drinks or with soda water as a spritz.
Abowd likes his simple: soju and soda with a squeeze of lime. You can also mix it with juice from apples, pears, or persimmons, or infuse the spirit with botanicals like juniper or jasmine, but if you start blending it with richer fruits like kiwi or banana, you’ll mask the soju.
Why does soju burn your throat?
Normal human body temperature is in the 98.6˚F/37˚C, so when you drink alcohol, it’s really your own body heat that activates the heat receptors. Therefore, when you chug a ABV beer or take a shot, it warms or burns your throat.
How many drinks is 1 bottle of soju?
Soju and blood alcoholic content (BAC) Based on this assumption, two cups of soju equals one standard drink. One bottle contains approximately four standard drinks.
What alcohol can mix with soju?
1. Soju Bomb (Soju + Beer) & Coke – Photo from thrillist.com Soju bomb also known as somaek ( soju + beer) is very popular and is the drink you’ll want when catching up with friends. It’s a quick way to get that buzz on and mixes well together. You can also add coke to add sweetness to your drink. Mixture:
Golden ratio: 30% Soju + 70% Beer Gentle and smooth: 10% Soju+ 90% Beer Blackout: 50% Soju+ 50% Beer
Can you mix soju with anything?
This is the most popular way soju is consumed in Korea, second only to directly from the bottle to a glass. The recipe is 1 part soju, 1 part yogurt drink, and 1 part lemon-lime soda. Try mixing different flavors of soju and yogurt drink to find your favorite combination of this soju Korean drink.