The Spirit Of Soju: All About Korea's Favourite Drink

The Korean national drink has now become a global favourite with the small green bottles being available at every other liquor store internationally
Soju the Korean National Drink
Soju the Korean National DrinkEiliv Aceron/Unsplash

If you have ever watched a K-drama, you might have seen the characters red in the face and yapping over tiny shot glasses filled with Soju. The clear liquid that doesn't look any different from vodka or gin is the beloved drink of Korea. The small signature green bottles of this grain-based alcohol have become very common in liquor shops, with most places selling it. Soju is known for its mild alcoholic content, typically ranging from 16 to 25 per cent ABV. This characteristic makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a more moderate drinking experience, where the focus lies on savouring the flavours.

Spirit Origins


Soju traces its roots back centuries to the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo, where it was initially distilled for medicinal purposes. However, over time, it transformed into a popular spirit savoured by the masses. Crafted through meticulous fermentation and distillation, Soju typically incorporates rice, wheat, or barley, resulting in a smooth and clean taste profile that sets it apart.

What truly sets Soju apart is its remarkable versatility. It can be enjoyed straight, on the rocks, or as a base for tantalizing cocktails. Its subtle flavour allows it to blend harmoniously with various ingredients, creating delightful concoctions that suit every palate. From fruity infusions to refreshing mixers, Soju-based cocktails have endless possibilities.

Social Significance

Soju with Kimchi
Soju with KimchiHyunwoo Sun/Flickr

One fascinating aspect of Soju is its cultural significance in Korean society. It serves as a social lubricant, bringing friends, families, and even strangers together. Sharing a round of Soju shots is a customary gesture of camaraderie, signifying unity and fostering bonds of friendship. It transcends generations, bridging the gap between elders and youngsters as everyone joins the jovial spirit of celebration. Another interesting trivia about the drink is the significance of the green bottles. Green bottles have become almost synonymous with the drink, and the reason is that it makes them easier to reuse and recycle.

In recent years, Soju has gained international recognition, captivating the taste buds of enthusiasts worldwide. Its smoothness, affordability, and distinctive cultural appeal have earned it a devoted following beyond the borders of Korea. From trendy bars in bustling metropolises to cosy lounges in far-flung corners, Soju has transcended its origins and found its place in the global spirits landscape. So, grab a bottle, gather your friends, and immerse yourself in the spirited world of Soju. Cheers, or as they say in Korea, "Geonbae"

Places To Have Soju In Delhi

Sippin' on Soju
Sippin' on SojuGraham Hills/Wikimedia

Busan: This newly opened Korean cafe at Majnu ka Tilla is where you can get great Korean food and Soju to pair it with. Busan offers fantastic food with an even more amazing ambience. What makes it even more enticing is that you can savour these gastronomic delights without putting a strain on your wallet. 

Address: Ground Floor, House# 9B, Block # 10, Colony, Majnu Ka Tilla, New Aruna Nagar, New Delhi: 110054

Soju Time!
Soju Time! Graham Hills/Flickr

Hahn's Kitchen: Soju isn't all that this cafe offers. Their spicy grilled pork belly is a must-try. The place's warm ambience sure makes you come back for more.

Address: 1st Floor, One Horizon Centre, Golf Course Road, Sector 43, Gurugram, Haryana 122002

Kori's: Tucked away in a narrow lane, Kori’s has an exhaustive menu to choose from. Pair up your bottle of Soju with a traditional Korean Dosirak or stick to the tried and tested Bulgogi or Bibimbap for a dining experience to remember. 

Address: 70, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi 110029

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