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What is Korea’s most popular drink?


Korea is known for its rich culture and traditions, which includes a wide range of delicious food and drinks. Among these, there is one drink that stands out as the most popular – soju. Soju has been a favorite in Korea for centuries and continues to be the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the country.

What is Soju?

Soju is a clear, distilled liquor made from rice or other grains such as wheat, barley, or potatoes. It contains around 20% alcohol by volume and has a slightly sweet taste. Soju is often compared to vodka or sake, but it has a distinct flavor that sets it apart from these other beverages.

The History of Soju

Soju has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the 13th century. It was originally used for medicinal purposes but soon became a popular alcoholic beverage among the Korean people. In the 1960s, soju was mass-produced and became widely available, leading to its current status as Korea’s most popular drink.

The Different Types of Soju

There are many different brands of soju available in Korea, each with their own unique flavor and style. Some of the most popular brands include Jinro, Chum Churum, and Good Day. Some sojus are made with fruit flavors such as peach or grapefruit, while others are infused with ginseng or honey.

How to Drink Soju

In Korea, soju is often consumed with food and is usually served in small shot glasses. It is customary to pour for others rather than serving yourself, and it is polite to turn away from older or more senior individuals when taking a shot. Soju can be enjoyed straight or mixed with other drinks such as beer or soda.

Soju and Culture

Soju is deeply ingrained in Korean culture and has been featured in many movies, TV shows, and songs. It is often used as a symbol of friendship, celebration, and unity among friends and family. Soju has also become a popular drink among young people, who often gather in groups to drink and socialize.

The Health Benefits of Soju

Although soju is an alcoholic beverage, it is said to have some health benefits when consumed in moderation. Studies have shown that soju can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improve digestion and circulation. However, it is important to remember that excessive drinking can lead to serious health problems.

Soju and the Economy

Soju is not only a popular drink in Korea but also an important part of the country’s economy. The soju industry generates billions of dollars in revenue each year and employs thousands of people. Many Korean companies have also started exporting soju to other countries, helping to expand the drink’s popularity worldwide.

The Future of Soju

Despite its long history and current popularity, the future of soju is not certain. With changing tastes and trends among younger generations, there may be a decline in the demand for traditional alcoholic beverages like soju. However, many experts believe that soju will continue to be a beloved drink in Korea for years to come.


Soju has been a staple in Korean culture for centuries and continues to be the most popular drink in the country. Its unique taste, rich history, and cultural significance make it an important part of Korean identity. Whether enjoyed with friends or sipped alone, soju remains a beloved drink that will always have a special place in the hearts of Koreans everywhere.

What is Korea’s most famous drink?

The most popular alcoholic beverage in Korea is Soju, a clear and slightly sweet distilled spirit. It has been labeled as “a friend of life” and “the people’s drink.” Soju is made from various grains and starches like rice, barley, wheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tapioca.

What is Korea’s national drink?

Soju is a traditional Korean drink made from fermented white rice, which has a crisp flavor that may include hints of apple and burnt rice. It is often compared to vodka for its smoothness, mildness, and neutrality, but it is typically lower in alcohol content.

What do Korean people like to drink?

“Poktanju” is a popular drinking culture in Korea that involves mixing different types of alcohol, including soju, beer, foreign liquors, and even coke. Despite its potency, people enjoy consuming poktanju and often drink it quickly. It is a beloved pastime in Korea.

What is the legal drinking age in Korea?

In Korea, individuals are legally allowed to consume alcohol at the age of 19. However, if someone behaves in a disorderly manner while under the influence of alcohol, they may face significant fines and be required to go to the police station.

Why do Koreans love soju?

Soju, with its low alcohol content, is a popular choice for those who prefer to drink straight or for those who want to make low-alcohol cocktails. It can also be used as a substitute for vodka in cocktails. Soju’s versatility is one of the reasons why it is so popular.

What is South Korea main alcohol?

Soju is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Korea, and is typically produced through mass-production by mixing spirits with water, which is different from the traditional method.

Soju and Tourism

Soju has also become a popular attraction for tourists visiting Korea. Many visitors are curious to try this traditional Korean drink and learn about its history and cultural significance. Some tours even offer visits to soju distilleries, where visitors can see how the drink is made and sample different varieties.

Soju Cocktails

While soju is often enjoyed straight or mixed with beer or soda, it has also become a popular ingredient in cocktails. Bartenders around the world have started using soju in creative ways, mixing it with fruit juices, herbs, and spices to create unique and flavorful drinks.

Environmental Concerns

One concern surrounding the production of soju is its impact on the environment. The production process requires large amounts of water and energy, which can contribute to pollution and climate change. Some companies have started implementing more sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy sources and reducing water waste.

The Globalization of Soju

In recent years, soju has gained popularity beyond Korea’s borders. It is now sold in many countries around the world, including the United States, Japan, China, and Russia. As more people discover the unique taste and cultural significance of soju, it is likely to continue its global expansion.

The Future of Soju Culture

As Korean culture becomes more globally recognized, so too will its traditional drinks like soju. While younger generations may have different drinking preferences, there will always be a place for soju in Korean society. Whether enjoyed at a family gathering or in a trendy cocktail bar, soju will continue to be a beloved symbol of Korean identity and culture.

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