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.Next
It may be topped with lemon-lime soda and is most often served inside a hollow mini seedless watermelon the source of the juice.
However, the popularity of brands varies by region.
The of 30% fell to 25% by 1973, and 23% by 1998.
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There is typically an astringency to the flavor, so you may notice a bitterness underneath the soju's subtle sweetness.
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.Next
New American producers are entering the market.
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.Next
Where to Buy Soju Soju is widely available in Korea and other Asian countries.
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.Next
While soju is traditionally made from the of , , or , modern producers often replace rice with other , such as and.
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.Next
It became one of the most popular spirits in Korea over the centuries until the Japanese occupation in the early 1900s.