Korean Alcohol Feature: Soju
If you’re a fan of alcohol and Korean cuisine, then you must have already heard of soju or even gulped bottles of it before. Soju is one of the most famous alcoholic contributions of Korea to the world, and its popularity has grown massively given that it is currently being mass-produced in over 75 countries worldwide. It also helps that soju is very cheap and is readily accessible to almost anyone.
The taste of this clear and colorless alcoholic drink is another story, however. Most foreigners feel that it’s hard to get used to soju’s taste, but most Koreans, as expected, profess their love for this beloved drink endlessly. But regardless of whether you personally like the taste of soju or not, there are still some etiquette to be observed when drinking soju especially with locals.
Keep the following guidelines in mind so you can show respect and even impress your Korean friends:
Opening the bottle
The proper way to open a bottle of soju is to first give it a good shake or swirl to mix the contents properly. Afterward, bash the bottom of the bottle to your elbow so you can crack it open. You need to then spread your fingers so you can have a good leverage in jabbing the bottle’s neck.
Pouring and drinking the contents
If you are drinking soju with a group of Koreans, then one of the older members of the group will offer you a shot glass. Always remember to accept the shot glass with both hands. Put your left palm at the bottom of the glass and hold the glass using your right hand. The person will then pour soju on your glass. Afterwards, turn your head away so you will not establish any form of eye contact to the person who just poured you a drink. This practice must be strictly observed as this is a sign of respect to the elders. In other words, you must not get a bottle of soju and then start pouring a drink on your own glass.
Another thing to remember is to always drink your first shot of soju in one go. Afterwards, you can take sips of soju (if you prefer) for the succeeding shots. Remember to take it easy as a bottle of soju typically has 16%-45% alcohol content.
Once your glass is empty, give it back to the same person who poured you a drink and offer to pour soju for him or her. Offer to fill empty glasses as you see them as a sign of respect and camaraderie.
Feel free to share with us your soju drinking experiences! And don’t forget that sojus go well with Korean BBQ Online’s diverse menu of meat cuts and sides. Drop us a line today so we can get them delivered straight to your doorstep!