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All about soju
What is soju?
What is a high-selling alcohol in some parts of the world? No, it's not rum nor vodka. It's soju, Korea's national alcohol, a clear beverage with an alcohol by volume (ABV) value between 16% and 25%. This drink is not that well-known in the United States and the Western world, but is on the up and up.
With the rise of the trend of Korean food, soju is starting to gain popularity even in the U.S. Which is good news, so spirit lovers will have the opportunity to taste something new.
Most liquor fans like to compare soju to vodka because both spirits are neutral-tasting, but soju has a much less harsh aftertaste because of the lower alcohol content. Traditionally, Koreans drink their favorite liquor with a meal, but American bartenders love to mix it instead of vodka in cocktails. Most producers use rice to make soju, but others choose other grains and even sweet potatoes.
How to drink soju in the old way
Traditionally in Korea, an older member of the family pours soju in your glass. Koreans never pour this traditional liquor in their own glasses, as it serves as a social beverage. Accept the glass with two hands. Then, turn your face so that you don't make eye contact with the person who poured the liquor while you drink. This tradition is a sign of respect to elders.
Otherwise, get creative, and mix this spirit in lieu of vodka in your favorite cocktails like martinis and cosmopolitans. Also, consider trying a soju and cola for a different twist.