Here's Everything You Need to Know About Soju, the National Drink of South Korea
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.
What is soju?
Soju is a clear, low-alcohol, distilled spirit that is the most popular liquor in Korea. If you haven't heard of it, well then you've got a blind spot, because it's been the best-selling liquor in the world, according to CNN. Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise considering South Koreans drink an average of 13.7 shots of liquor per week, more than anywhere else worldwide.
Soju is traditionally consumed as shots.
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
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
Soju is known for its green bottles.
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. "Money is never an issue when it comes to drinking in
Here are a couple of bottles if you want to try some for yourself:
Chum Churum Original Soju (375-ml), $8.99
Jinro 24 Soju (1.75 L), $16.99
Simon Kim owns Cote, New York City's first Korean steakhouse.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors