Korean drinking customs
South Korea's drinking culture goes a long way back. Drinking alcohol is a part of Korean culture, tradition and lifestyle, with different kinds of beverages being consumed usually during the celebrations of holidays and events. According to statistics, South Koreans seem to take their drinks very seriously, since they stand very high on the list when it comes to liquor consumption. But what is the drink they consume the most?
Scotland has whisky, Spain has sangria, England has gin, Russia has vodka. Almost every country has its own national drink, and Korea is the home of Soju - distilled rice liquor. Soju is a clear, hard liquor, traditionally made of rice, with an average of 20 percent of alcohol. Although it comes in different variations and tastes, the original is still the most popular one. It is also very often combined with a beer or in a different cocktails. It is the most commonly consumed beverage among South Koreans and, for them, it seems to be more than just a drink.
Soju - Korean liquor made of rice
It's best to drink it when cooled on a low temperature
Soju is a clear, hard liquor, traditionally made of rice, with an average of 20 percent of alcohol. Although it comes in different variations and tastes, the original is still the most popular one. It is also very often combined with a beer or in a different cocktails. It is the most commonly consumed beverage among South Koreans and, for them, it seems to be more than just a drink.
Since being consumed with beer, we couldn't resist but to try soju with one of the most popular Slovenian beers. We even had a set of skilled hands of Gorenc Aleš, a barista from Sora Catring, who is taking care of the hospitality in Slovenia House during the Games, and a supervision of a real Korean person, just in case.
First step - get all needed ingredients: soju, beer, one small cup, one big glass and a spoon
Second step: pour soju from a small cup into a big glass, add beer, stir - and voila!
But, are we really doing it right?
Soju is a way of life. It is consumed during celebrations, parties, dinings or simply when wanting to get to know a person slightly better. It is a part of a ritual, so if offered one (or more) don't try to resist, but rather just go with it. Soju is usually consumed with food, and there is even a special word "anju", which represents the food that goes with alcohol.
Soju is very often consumed with food
“Anju“ represents the food that goes with alcohol
Besides, another thing to think about while drinking in Korean style is the traditional serving of the drinks. Soju is always consumed in the company and you should never pour your own drink but wait for someone else to do it. Once a person handed you a drink, you receive a glass with two hands and drink it as a shot, rather than sip it. Sounds like a piece of cake!
Soju is never poured into your own glass...
Once someone pours it to you, the glass is received with two hands while making the eye contact
Korean soju + Slovenian beer + BB coasters = match made in heaven!
It seems like drinking culture worldwide has one thing in common, bringing people together and socializing over a drink. Just like we do with our BB partners. We are connecting with the community and small producers, who are trying to bring closer the local touch by sharing stories and their local products. Some of the best stories were made during some of our wine tastings at BIG BERRY, or visiting a local distillery in Slovenia. We could easily imagine Soju being part of the BB Welcome basket, where it would represent Korean local customs.
Once we have revealed another exciting Korean custom, there is nothing left for us but to hit the next bar and taste our very first berry soju!