Soju. What Is Soju?

Why You Should Be Drinking Korean Soju Right Now

Though Soh runs a Korean restaurant where you would expect to find a variety of soju cocktails, he prefers subbing it in for other ingredients in classic drinks: For instance, he uses it in place of gin in the and for rye whiskey in the Hwayo Vieux Carré, both named for a popular soju brand. 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.

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Soju

However, the popularity of brands varies by region.

Soju

Retrieved December 14, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2008.

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What Is Soju?

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.

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Why You Should Be Drinking Korean Soju Right Now

Here's an easy-to-use guide to get started today, plus crave-able recipes to make it that much easier to do your part. It's rare that any soju is left in the bottle once it's open and it is known for producing some nasty hangovers.

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Soju

The low-alcohol spirit has been distilled in Korea for hundreds of years, usually from rice or other grains. Both the person pouring and the receiver use two hands on the vessels. Traditional hand-crafted has about 45% ABV.

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What Is Soju?

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. It's left unfiltered and has a tangy flavor because it naturally contains a lactic acid similar to that found in yogurt.

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