Soju: Discovering Korea's Distinctive Rice-Based Elixir
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Even if you consider yourself a true connoisseur of spirits, you might be astonished to learn that soju, a traditional Korean beverage, is the most popular spirit in the world according to sales, not vodka, whisky, or rum.

Soju is becoming more widely known in the West and around the world, despite the fact that many Westerners used to regard it as a low-alcohol "Korean vodka" you may sip at a karaoke club.

Soju is a clear, colourless, and distilled alcoholic beverage from Korea that is comparable to a spirit but is also a very distinctive beverage in and of itself. This clear beverage, which originated in Korea and has an alcohol content of between 12 and 50% ABV, has since stretched its wings to include the rest of the world because it is simply too delicious to pass up.

Due to its reduced alcohol content, this traditional unflavoured beverage has a more neutral flavour and lacks the strong burn of vodka. Because of how it's prepared and the components it contains, it's also a little sweeter.

Soju Vs. Sake

Traditional Korean soju and Japanese sake have a common ingredient: rice. Soju can be created from various starches, which change the flavour, but sake continues to be made from rice and has a more neutral flavour. Sake is typically drier than soju, which is frequently sweeter. The two are produced differently; soju is distilled, whereas sake is fermented and brewed like beer. Sake often contains less alcohol than soju.

Two additional alcoholic beverages produced in Korea and Japan are comparable. Shochu is comparable to soju since it is a low-alcohol Japanese distilled spirit manufactured from barley, rice, or sweet potatoes. Makkoli is the Korean version of sake and is essentially a fermented (rather than distilled) rice wine. It has a tangy flavour and is left unfiltered since it naturally includes lactic acid, which is a substance also present in yoghurt.

Flavour Profile Of Soju

Soju has a crisp, simple flavour. Although most commercial soju offered today has a sweeter and less assertive flavour than vodka, people frequently claim that the taste reminds them of vodka. You might taste bitterness behind the soju's subdued sweetness because the flavour is often astringent. Compared to soju manufactured from other starches, sweet potato soju will be sweeter.

How To Drink Soju?

You can drink soju as you like, but traditionally, it is taken as a shot. Although it is always advisable to share a bottle with your friends while enjoying a nice dinner, more and more individuals are choosing to sip on flavoured bottles all by themselves. At least it won't put you to sleep because the alcohol content is low enough.

The manner in which something is served has significance in traditional Korean society. The host will serve the most senior guests first, followed by the other guests. They say "geonbae," which translates to "empty glass," and you should always finish what's inside of your glass before receiving another pour. No one should ever fill their own glass. Additionally, you must always hold the shot glass firmly in both hands, look away from the person who brought it to you so you aren't exchanging glances, and then pour yourself a drink.