Cheap Self-cocktail

Lee Anna

Many foreigners are surprised by Korean’s culture. Koreans can start drinking when they become 20 in Korean age or the year they turn 19 in international age, which is quite younger than other countries’ minimum age. When someone asks his friend, ‘Let’s go and have a drink’, it doesn’t just mean that ‘we should go and pour a bucket of alcohol into our stomach’. It means that he wants to make deep relationship with his friend. Therefore, drinking is an essential medium to nonverbal communication in Korea’s society. They even have many games that can be played with, while drinking. Those who lose that game will have to drink ‘soju’, which is one of the Korean traditional drinks, or other hard drinks.

Soju is a clear, colorless distilled beverage of Korean origin. It is usually taken as shots, and its alcohol content varies from about 16.8%to 20%, depending on the brand or type of soju you get (ex: green cap vs red cap bottle). Soju is nowadays popular around the world and most brands of soju are made in South Korea. While it is traditionally made from rice, wheat, or barley, modern producers often replace rice with other starches such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca. Since soju is very clear and refreshing, Koreans often enjoy soju with oily food such as meat. There are various ways to enjoy Soju and I would like to introduce 5 famous ways to enjoy it.

  1. Soju + Beer (aka. Somaek)

First, as you see above, Koreans mix soju and beer. There is even the name ‘So Maek.’ (So for soju and Maek for Maekju, Korean name for beer.) Foreign people would be surprised that beer can be mixed with other drinks. Actually, it can be hard to imagine. However, once they try it, they will think differently. ‘So Maek’ can be made with different proportion depending on how much you prefer soju. If you want a stronger drink, just put in more soju in your mixture.


  1. Soju + Hong Cho

Hong Cho is an undiluted solution with different flavors such as blueberry and pomegranate. It is a type of drinkable vinegar that is good for your body. You can buy it almost anywhere, from convenience stores to E-mart. Once you mix it with soju, the color of soju will become really attractive. Soju will taste much more sour and sweet.


  1. Soju + Coke

This is one of the ways that those you love coke will love to use. Coke can be substituted with Cider or Korean Sprite. This is the cheapest and easiest way to make a soju cocktail. The more coke you use, the less alcohol smells you will feel from the cocktail.

  1. Soju + Ice Cream + Cider

In Korea, there are so many types of Ice creams. From here, I would recommend foreign students to use either ‘melona(메로나)’ or ‘screw bar (스크류바)’. Melona is a sweet honeydew flavor while screw bar is a strawberry flavored ice cream. First, you put one small cup of soju (using the soju cup) into a beer cup. Second, pour two cups of cider using the same soju cup into the beer cup. Lastly, put either of ice-creams into the beer cup and stir it. When the color of drink changes into that of ice cream, try drinking it. This drink should be the sweetest of five recommended cocktails. When you are used to making this recipe, you can try with your favorite ice cream again.

메로나 소주

  1. Soju + Makgeolli + Cider

This is not-many-Koreans-know recipe. Makgeolli is also Korean traditional alcoholic beverage like soju. It is milky, creamy off-white, lightly sparkling rice wine with a slight viscosity tastes slightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and astringent, with chalky sediment that give the cloudy look. A small amount of soju and rather bigger amount of both makgeolli and cider will not taste like ‘alcohol’ but you will get drunk, unnoticed. This mixture also has name, ‘MakSoSa’. Mak for Makgeolli, So for Soju and Sa for Cider.


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