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Soju

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Soju is a distilled beverage native to Korea. Most brands of modern soju are made in South Korea. Though traditionally made from rice, most major brands supplement or even replace the rice with other starches such as potato, wheat, barley, sweet potato, or tapioca (called dangmil in Korean). Soju is clear in colour and typically varies in alcohol content from about 20% to about 45% alcohol by volume (ABV), with 20% ABV being most common. Its taste is comparable to vodka, though often slightly sweeter because of the sugars added in the manufacturing process.

Left: Bottle of soju with branded glass.

Soju is usually drunk in group gatherings while eating, unmixed and portioned into individual shot glasses. It is against traditional custom in Korea to fill one's own glass. Instead, it must be filled by someone else at the table. This promotes a spirit of thoughtfulness and camaraderie.

Koreans often say "one shot", a challenge to everyone in the group to down their glass in one gulp.

A glass should not be refilled unless completely empty and should be promptly refilled once empty; it is considered rude to not fill someone else's glass when empty.

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