Time to add soju to your low-ABV cocktail repertoire
World Best Bar
Oct 12, 2022
10 January 2019
Soju is having a moment. Mostly consumed in Korea, Japan, and China, the Korean national drink is also the best-selling liquor in the world by volume, with sales steadily increasing in recent years. While long underrated in the U.S. and Europe, the rise of Korean gastronomy and pop culture coupled with the ever-growing low-ABV trend have been boosting its popularity, and you can now find it in countless restaurants, bars and grocery stores near you.
Soju is a clear, 20-24 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) spirit distilled from starches like wheat, rice, sweet potatoes, and tapioca. It is traditionally consumed straight with food, but also mixes very well into cocktails. It’s pretty neutral in taste — a little bit sweeter than vodka, but nowhere near as harsh as it only has around half the percentage of alcohol — making these drinks mellow, tasty, and perfect for a chill night in.
If you’re looking to add some novelty to your at-home happy hour rotation, give these soju cocktails a try!
Fill a mule mug with ice. Add 2 oz ginger-infused soju and 1 oz yuzu juice to the cup, top with classic or alcoholic ginger beer for an extra kick and stir gently. Garnish with a few pieces of candied ginger and serve.
For the ginger-infused soju:
Add 1/2 cup fresh, unpeeled ginger, thinly sliced, into a mason jar and top with 2 cups of soju. Let it infuse for 1 week, then filter out the solids with a sieve and pour into a tightly sealed container. Stored in the fridge, ginger-infused soju will keep for 3 months.
Start by chilling a martini glass in the freezer. Once cold, rub the edge of the glass with a slice of lime and dip it into sugar on a plate. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and add 1.5 oz soju, 1 oz triple sec or Cointreau, 1.5 oz cranberry juice and 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice. Shake well until cold, strain into your chilled and rimmed martini glass, garnish with an orange zest twist and serve.
For 1 6-person pitcher
You might have seen this one making the rounds on TikTok. For those not familiar, Melona is a very popular Korean honeydew melon ice cream popsicle. While most people dunk the ice cream bar into the soju mix and enjoy it as it melts, blending the drink makes for a nicer, creamier consistency, almost like a frozen daiquiri.
Combine 1 bottle of soju, 2 Melona ice cream bars (sticks removed, obviously), 1 cup of ice and 1 can of Sprite or Chilsung cider into a blender. Blend until smooth and serve.