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Do Koreans drink every night?


Korean drinking culture has been a topic of discussion for years, with many wondering if it’s true that Koreans drink every night. In this article, we will delve into the drinking habits of Koreans and find out if it’s a widespread practice or just a stereotype.

History of Korean Drinking Culture

Drinking has always been an integral part of Korean culture. The country boasts of having the oldest known distillery in the world, dating back to the 13th century. Drinking also played a significant role in socializing and networking in ancient times.

The Role of Soju in Korean Drinking Culture

Soju is a clear, colorless distilled beverage that is considered the national drink of Korea. It is made from rice, wheat or barley and has a high alcohol content. Soju is not only affordable but also readily available in most restaurants and bars in Korea, making it a popular choice for drinkers.

Korean Work Culture and Drinking

In Korea, work-life balance is not as prevalent as in other countries. Many Koreans work long hours and have limited free time. As a result, drinking after work is a common way to socialize and unwind with colleagues.

Korean Drinking Games

Drinking games are popular among Koreans, and they vary from traditional games like ‘Neolttwigi’ to more modern ones like ‘Finger King.’ These games usually involve taking shots of soju or beer while playing.

Korean Drinking Etiquette

Koreans take their drinking etiquette seriously. There are rules to follow when drinking with friends or colleagues, such as never pouring your own drink and always pouring for others first.

Drinking Habits of Younger Koreans

Younger Koreans are starting to break away from the traditional drinking culture. Many prefer to drink less or not at all, and instead, focus on their health and well-being.

Religion and Drinking in Korea

Religion plays a significant role in Korean society, and some religions prohibit alcohol consumption. However, this does not stop many Koreans from consuming alcohol.

Drinking Culture and Alcoholism in Korea

While drinking is a social activity for most Koreans, it has contributed to the rise of alcoholism in the country. Alcoholism is a growing concern, with the government implementing measures to curb excessive drinking.

Korean Drinking Culture and Tourism

Korean drinking culture has become a tourist attraction for many visitors to the country. Many tour companies offer ‘pub crawls’ or guided tours of traditional Korean bars.


In conclusion, while it’s not true that all Koreans drink every night, drinking is undoubtedly a significant part of Korean culture. It plays a role in socializing, networking, and work culture. While there are concerns about excessive drinking and alcoholism, it remains an important part of Korean society.



Do Koreans drink alcohol everyday?

On average, South Koreans consume more alcohol than any other country, with an average of 13.7 shots of liquor per week. This was reported on February 2, 2014.

How often do Koreans drink?

Based on a 2018 report by WHO, the average person in South Korea consumes approximately 16 liters of alcohol per year. This is usually done through a “bottoms-up” method of consuming one shot at a time rather than taking small sips.

Why do Koreans drink so much alcohol?

In South Korea, drinking is often promoted as a part of the working culture. Work dinners, known as hoesik, are common and involve eating and drinking with colleagues. These events are seen as an opportunity to develop personal relationships outside of work, and skipping them is not considered an option.

Why do Koreans turn away when drinking?

In Korean culture, it is customary to show respect to an elder while drinking by turning one’s head away when taking a sip instead of facing them directly. This tradition has been practiced for a long time.

Are Koreans the heaviest drinkers?

South Korea is a top consumer of alcohol, with an average of 13.7 shots of liquor consumed per week per person. This is followed by Russia with 6.3 shots per week and the United States with 3.3 shots per week.

What country drinks the most alcohol per day?

Belarus is known for having the highest consumption of pure alcohol per capita in the world, and also has a risky pattern of drinking according to classification. This was reported on January 17, 2023.

The Future of Korean Drinking Culture

As younger generations shift away from traditional drinking culture, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Korean drinking habits. Some experts predict that there may be a decline in alcohol consumption as health and wellness become more prioritized. Others believe that drinking will continue to play a significant role in Korean society, but with a greater emphasis on responsible consumption.

Impact of COVID-19 on Korean Drinking Culture

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Korean drinking culture. With restrictions on social gatherings and bar closures, many Koreans have had to find alternative ways to socialize and unwind. Some have turned to virtual drinking parties, while others have taken up new hobbies or focused on their health.

Drinking Culture in Other Asian Countries

Korean drinking culture is not unique to the country. Many other Asian countries, such as Japan and China, also have their own distinct drinking cultures. However, each country has its own set of customs and etiquette when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol Industry in Korea

The alcohol industry is a significant contributor to the Korean economy. Soju, in particular, is a multi-billion dollar industry, with numerous brands competing for market share. The industry has also faced criticism for aggressive marketing tactics and contributing to excessive drinking.


Korean drinking culture is a complex and multifaceted topic that continues to evolve over time. While it remains an important part of Korean society, there are concerns about excessive drinking and alcoholism. As younger generations shift away from traditional drinking habits, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Korean drinking culture.

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