Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soju...the thing hangovers are made of

The Russians have Vodka, the Japanese have Saki, the Mexicans have Tequila and Koreans, well, Koreans have Soju! And let me tell you it is the thing hangovers are made of!

When we first arrived in Korea I was stunned by how small the selection of alcohol was. In South Africa I could drink anything from great wine, to alcopops to a variety of hard liquors. However, in Korea, there is a wine type liqueur thing but it is super sweet, relatively expensive and not found everywhere. So often I found myself being given the choice between beer, Soju or nothing. And like a true trooper (after years of refusing to drink it in South Africa) I chose beer. Apparently beer in South Korea is relatively mild (like a Miller if you will) so after a couple of weeks I started looking forward to a beer. Soju on the other hand, Soju took some getting used to. Only recently have I learnt to take it with a straight face!

Soju is often drunk neat as a shot but your more seasoned drinkers will sip on it. You never pour your own shot of Soju, someone else must pour it for you and in turn you pour it for them. You should also hold the tot glass with two hands while they are pouring for you. Only girls, and men that are not afraid to loose face, are allowed to mix it with Coke or juice. However, one manly way to drink it is mixing a shot of Soju with your beer (somek) which is very popular!

Soju is made from rice, is clear in colour and sells for between 1000-2000Won (1-2 USD) depending on where you buy it. You get between six to seven shots out of a bottle depending on how generous your shot glass is and after about three shots I am already buzzing...

After a good couple of shots and some beer you are bound to wake up with a headache. Soju is not drunk to get drunk in Korea, rather it is a way of life and has a whole culture attached to it. Rarely will you see a group of men eating out without a couple of empty bottles of Soju sprawled across the table.

So when you come to Korea, be sure to have a taste of this local drink because it really is a big part of the Korean people's lives and eating culture.

Post by Claudia


Chaoschris said...

Juice from the devil... Had the worst hang over of my life on Soju!!!

Jo said...

I love it, I remember some great nights drinking Sojul, but have to agree the hangovers are quite severe!

Claudia and Oliver said...

Hahahaha!!! I am so happy I am not the only one!

GisM said...

Wine from a winery, beer from a brewery, whiskey from a distillery, but soju from a factory!

Claudia and Oliver said...

@GisM...Hahahahhahaha...I couldn't have said it better myself!hahahhaha, so funny!

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