Soju Transforms Itself Upscale in These CocktailsKoreans tend to be fond of drinking, and if you are too, you might find a shot of soju just the thing to warm the cockles of your heart during the cold winter ahead.
Soju is a distilled spirit made from tapioca or rice. The soju found in Korean eateries or pubs is typically 40 or 50 proof. Those with a low tolerance for alcohol or who would like to enjoy a milder type of soju might like to try a soju cocktail. The most popular soju cocktail available at Korean watering holes is "lemon soju" that arrives in a small kettle. The first sip might remind you of lemonade, but it leaves behind a bitter － and warming － soju aftertaste. Another variety favored by Seoul's soju drinkers is － trust me on this one － the refreshing "cucumber soju." Both are lighter and easier to drink than straight soju, which tends to burn your throat going down.
Soju cocktails are popular among those of the younger generation, and you'll score points with them if you know what to order in a trendy robadayaki (Japanese-style bar). JoongAng Ilbo English Edition brings you some soju cocktail suggestions for the fast-approaching festive season. Gonbae!
Sparkling Lemon Soju
In a small kettle or pitcher, mix 1 part soju and 1 part lemon juice concentrate with 2 parts tonic water and 2 parts lemon-lime soda, like 7-Up. Serve neat in shot glasses or, if you prefer, pour into tall glasses, add crushed ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Pour 1 oz of soju and 5 oz of fresh orange juice into a tall glass and add a few cubes of ice. Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon. You can also substitute cranberry juice for the orange juice.
Wash one medium-sized cucumber and cut into thin slices. Pour a bottle of soju into a glass jug and add the cucumber. Cover the jug and chill for at least 3 hours. The drink is best served from a soju kettle in shot glasses.
Soju and Cola
Put ice cubes in a tall glass. Pour in 1 oz of soju and 5 oz of cola or cherry cola. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
by Ines Cho