Korean Alcohol Feature: Soju

soju

Korean Alcohol Feature: Soju

soju

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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!

5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

kimchi

5 Korean customs to know before you visit Korea

So you already have your flights booked and just beyond excited to finally see Korea in person. You are perhaps planning to stay longer than usual to experience more of what Korea has to genuinely offer. That said, how familiar are you with some of the Korean customs? If you need some catching up to do on the way of life in Korea, then here’s a brief article to help you out just before you embark on your Korean adventure:

kimchi

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1. Kimchi is everywhere

Kimchi is such an integral part of Korean identity that you will see it in almost every meal. It’s nutritious and balanced, but its taste can be too pungent and spicy for some. How about you try some kimchi before flying to Korea so you can see for yourself if it is for you or not? It will definitely take some time to get used to the taste for some people at least.

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2. Shoes off

Koreans are very particular about cleanliness so as expected in almost all Asian homes, you need to take off your shoes before entering. You don’t really want to bring in some dust, soil and other outside dirt that accumulated under your shoes into the house of your host, do you? Taking off one’s shoes is also a sign of respect to the owner of the household.

soju

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3. Soju

Just like kimchi, soju is such a big part of Korean lifestyle and is also a globally known drink. Feel free to socialize with the locals and sing your hearts out in a karaoke bar while enjoying bottles of this beloved Korean alcohol. Also, do not forget to hold your glass with both hands when someone is pouring soju for you as a sign of respect.

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4. Rice

Rice is present on almost all Asian dining tables, including those of Koreans. Those who are not used to eating rice a lot will definitely find other alternatives, but consider this as a fair warning that rice will almost always served to you once you are in Korea.

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5. No excuse me?

Korea is a very large country and its major cities can be very crowded and fast-paced. It can be very surprising at first to see people just pushing their way into trains and buses without even saying “excuse me” for example, but that’s just one of those things that you need to accept about Korea so you can thrive.

What other Korean customs and traditions that you would like to share with people before they visit Korea? Share them all in the comments section below. Meanwhile, Korean BBQ Online believes that everyone should have the chance to try the delightful and fun experience of Korean Barbeque. Contact us today!