Korean Soju and other Korean Alcohol

Korean Soju and other Korean AlcoholKorean Soju and other Korean Alcohol

The nightlife in Korea is great.  Every night you can meet friends, eat delicious food, and enjoy some drinks into the early morning hours.  It is a very accommodating culture if you like this lifestyle.

The main Korean alcohols are:

Korean Soju

This is by far the most famous Korean alcohol.  There are different companies and styles of soju, but they are always in green bottles and apparently contain 7 and a half small cups(shots).  The alcohol content is 17-19%.  A popular question is how many bottles of soju can you drink?  I would think the average is around 1 bottle for seasoned drinkers and 1 cup for the weakest citizens.

It is believed there is good harmony when soju is drunk with Samgyupsal(삼겹살).

It is common to see mountain hikers drinking this before, during or after their hike.

After opening the bottle of soju, many young people will twist the cap and use it for multiple games.  Two common games are twist the cap and guess the number.

For twist the cap, you take off the cap and twist the thin metal ring at its base.  Then pass it around. As each person gets the cap, they have to flick off the metal ring.  If you flick off the ring, you have to drink, or the people next you have to drink.

Another game is guessing the number.  Under each cap there is a number.  A person who guesses closest to the number has to drink or it may be a version of “Up / Down” wherein the person who knows the numbers keeps telling everyone “up or “down” until the person guesses the number and then he or she has to drink.

There are so many variations to each gamebe sure to sort out the rules before you start. Not knowing the rules is never an excuse for not having to drink if you make a mistake!
Here is cool blog post about soju etiquette.


Beer – Maekju (맥주)

Korea has three main domestic beer varieties: Hite, O.B. and Cass.  Of course they tend to be cheaper than foreign beer.  Fried chicken and beer is considered a good combination in Korea.

Somek (쏘맥)

This is a combination of Beer and soju.A unique taste, but don’t drink too much.

Cocktail Soju (칵테일소주)

For those of you who do not like straight soju, there are alternatives.  Soju can also be mixed with fruits.  Like lemon soju or strawberry soju.  Or a more basic mix is soju and cola or cider.

Makeoli (막걸리)

This is very sweet rice wine.  This is becoming increasingly popular as an export product, especially in Japan.

Baekseju (백세주)

A traditional type of soju with a weaker alcohol content.

Red face

A common occurrence is that many Koreans will get a red face or “red mask” after drinking even a sip of alcohol. Learn more about the Korean Red Face.

Let us know what you think of Korean soju and other alcohol in the comments below.


hyori Korean soju
Many Famous Korean Advertise Soju
Korean soju effects
This could be you! The effects of soju.
Sweet soju…


Let us know about your Korean soju experience in the comments below.

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