I love Korean BBQ. It is always a fun activity with friends and is an easy introduction to the amazingness and diversity of Korean food to non-Koreans. I can’t say I know a single person who has not fallen in love with Korean cuisine after a proper introduction. What are the important elements of an amazing Korean BBQ experience (which we think is primed for a global take-off)? Well many, which we will explore in more details over time, but no Korean BBQ is complete or authentic without lots of Soju, OB, and flush red colored faces.
Soju is the Korean liquor of choice made traditionally from rice
Soju is the liquor of choice in Korea with magical & devilish powers. Soju is similar to Sake, but of course better. The word itself means “burned liquor”. It is traditionally a rice wine liquor but in recent years has been supplemented and/or replaced by sweet potato, potatoes, etc. Its taste is similar to vodka, but much sweeter given the sugar added throughout the distilling process. Yet, some of the more accessible and cheaper sojus can have a Windex like taste, but that’s no problem as it just encourages more shooting over sipping. Soju was first distilled during the 1300s and the Mongol invasion into Korea. I guess there is nothing better than manufacturing and drinking alcohol to help curb the worry & fears of invasion. The two major soju brands are Chamisul and Charm. Like all liquors and wines, there are numerous varying types based on age, flavor, technique and quality (which we will also explore over time).
Given sojus price point and ease of drinking, it is a stable in Korea and makes for very fun & interesting nights indeed. But Eric, soju is only 15-25% alcoholic, how can it be so awesome and dangerous? Ah hah! Those asking that question are always the one that fall susceptible to soju’s grasps. The answers to this question deserves its own post & follow-up, but the root cause is Koreans drinking culture. Crank dat, Soju Boy! Dip shi da!