While in Korea, we took advantage of the country’s fun drinking culture and nightime camaraderie. Koreans love to celebrate a day’s hard work by indulging in various kinds of local alcohol, from soju to plum wine, makgeolli (rice wine) and more.
Soju, a distilled rice liquor, is probably one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Korea. It is clear and colorless, drawing comparisons to vodka. However, the taste is thought to be slightly sweeter, and is consumed without mixers. The largest manufacturer is the Jinro brand, which has been producing soju for over 85 years. Its popular Chamisul soju, which is filtered four times with charcoal made from Korean bamboo, is a Korean best seller.
After a few nights out, we quickly learned that there there are a few golden rules when it comes to drinking in Korea. First off, it’s atypical to fill your own glass. Instead, you should politely fill another person’s and vice versa. Another important guideline is that you absolutely must use two hands to pour a drink for anyone older than you.
We also discovered a fun new drinking game. Our friend Jennifer Flinn, a food blogger and Marja’s occasional dinner date, taught us a game where you pass the bottle cap around the table and everyone has to flick the loose metal with their finger. Whoever gets it to fly off has to take a shot. Or was it that everyone else has to take a shot? Hmmm….our memory’s a little fuzzy.