What Does Soju Taste Like?

Soju in a bottle

With everyone developing a fondness for Korean culture, it’s only fair that you’re aware of the ever-so-popular Korean alcoholic drink, Soju! Being one of the highest sold drinks, soju hasn’t failed in marking its place in the drinks scene! But what exactly does soju taste like? 

Soju has a neutral taste to it. It is a bit on the sweeter side of flavors and tastes clean on your tongue. Soju is often compared to vodka, but it isn’t as bitter. It is also known as “sweeter vodka” due to the similarity it has with vodka both in appearance and taste. 

Soju is an alcoholic beverage. It is also similar to Japanese sake as it is made using rice. It can be consumed as a stand-alone drink, or it can be used to make cocktails. This drink holds the title of the no.1 selling spirit brand in the world, making it worth a try!

Soju started off as a traditional Korean drink but has now succeeded in gaining popularity in the West as well. Being extremely delicious, soju tastes best when paired up with meat dishes, like grilled beef, pork bellies, etc. This drink makes the meat taste better and is mostly consumed as a neat drink. 

So, now that you have an idea about Soju and what it’s like, let’s dive deeper to know more about this drink! In this article, we’ll discuss what soju is, how you can use it for cooking, what all nutrients it contains and most importantly, what does soju taste like?

What Is Soju?


Soju might look like a normal drink without any interesting factor to it but looks are usually deceptive! Soju is, what you might consider, a special drink. It has a unique flavor and leaves you wanting more once you get a taste of it!

Soju is a distilled and clear alcoholic drink with a neutral flavor profile. It is usually made from rice but can also be made using wheat, sweet potatoes, tapioca and barley. Similar in appearance, soju is often mistaken to be the same as vodka but it isn’t. It has low alcohol content but it can be increased after the purification process. 

The name of this drink, “soju”, means “burned liquor”. This is because for making this drink, the alcohol used is heated at a high temperature. Soju is widely available for customers to purchase all over the world. Soju tastes best when you drink it neat and chilled! 

Soju also works well when added to fruit punches or other drinks. It makes delicious low-proof cocktails and is perfect for serving as an accompanying drink with most meals. It is usually paired up with watermelon during the summer season and helps people in beating the heat! 

What Does Soju Taste Like?

Soju Bottles

Before you go on buying a bottle of soju for yourself, it is important to know if it’s according to your taste preferences. Now, in order to determine that, you should have a slight idea of what soju tastes like. Is it bitter? Is it sweet? Is it too much to handle for most people? Let’s see!

Soju tastes like sweet vodka and is also pretty neutral in taste. Due to its low alcohol content, it doesn’t quite have the same burn as vodka. It does have a slightly bitter aftertaste, which might be unappealing to some people. As it tastes sweet, soju can also be described as fruit juice with an addition of alcohol.

The sweetness of soju comes from whatever starch it is made from, which mainly includes rice, sweet potatoes, tapioca, etc. What makes this drink delicious and delicate is that the sweetness of this drink isn’t overpowering. It has a malty, or you can say, buttery kind of sweetness to it!

A drink so good, it’ll make you want to catch the next flight to Korea. Try it for yourself and see if you like it or not!

How Is Soju Made?

Every delicious food item has a great recipe behind its making. Now, that might be a phrase I just came up with, but it holds true when it comes to the production of soju. 

Soju is made by the distillation of alcohol using fermented grains, like rice. While making soju from rice grains, the rice wine goes through distillation for at least 15 days. The distillation of the rice grains is done at a high temperature. Thus, soju also goes by the name “burned liquor.”

How To Drink Soju Properly

Soju, as mentioned earlier in this article, tastes best when consumed as a neat drink. But how do Korean people drink soju? What is the proper way of drinking it?

Traditionally, you’re not supposed to pour soju for yourself. It is a communal drink and is served that way. Your first drink will always be served or poured by the older person among the group. Then, accept the glass with your head turned to the side and without making eye contact with the person handing you the drink.

After you’ve had the first shot, you can refill your drink whenever you want. The bottle is passed around the table until it’s empty. You can either drink it as a shot or sip it, as per your preference. 

Can Soju Be Used For Cooking?


If you’re one of those people who use an ingredient to its maximum extent, then soju is perfect for you! But why is that so? It’s because soju is not just a drink. It can also be used to work wonders when you’re cooking. Want to know how? Let’s find out!

Soju can be used to cook as well. It is often used as a replacement for vodka when it comes to cooking. You can use it in stews to give the overall dish an additional kick of flavor. Soju can also be used in several Korean recipes, even if they don’t call for it. You can add it and enjoy a wonderfully crafted, delicious dish!

You can also use soju to deglaze alongside wine, gin, etc. Soju is a clean and fresh drink. Hence it works well in dishes that are heavy in flavor or texture, like fish, pork, etc. 

8 Popular Brands Of Soju


Quality matters a lot. Holding that statement true, it matters a lot what brand you go for when you purchase a bottle of soju. Different brands have different flavors. These brands also make soju using different types of starches. But what brands are there of soju? 

The 8 most popular brands which are known to produce delicious, premium quality soju are as follows:-

  1. Jinro’s Chamisul
  2. Chum-Churum
  3. GoodDay 
  4. Chungha
  5. Maehwasu
  6. Daesun soju
  7. C1 Blue
  8. O2 Linn

Most of these brands produce rice-based soju. These brands offer premium quality soju with a fresh taste. Brands, like Jinro’s Chamisul, offer various flavors to their customers like grapefruit, plum, strawberry, etc. All of the above-mentioned brands offer perfection in a bottle to its customers and are the best in business!

Nutritional Content Of Soju


It is very important to pay close attention to the food and drinks you consume on a daily basis. In the same way, it is important to know what nutrients does soju contain and if it’s healthy to consume or not.

Soju is high in calories and one bottle of soju contains approximately 400 calories. This drink only has 20 grams of carbohydrates, containing absolutely no fat and hardly any protein. It also contains micronutrients like potassium, iron, etc., in small quantities.

NutrientAmount per bottle
Calories527 kcal
Carbohydrates17 grams
Protein1 gram
Fat0 gram
Calcium1% of daily value requirement
Potassium2% of daily value requirement
Iron2% of daily value requirement

Soju isn’t considered a healthy drink. This is because it contains a high amount of calories. Drinking excessive amounts of soju can also lead you to gain weight due to the calorie content and alcohol content present in it. So, it is advisable to drink moderate amounts of soju and avoid drinking it excessively!


Soju is a Korean alcoholic drink. This drink is made from natural starches like rice, sweet potatoes, barley, etc. It is neutral in taste but can often be a bit sweet. Soju is also known as sweet vodka due to its similarity in taste and appearance with that of vodka. Soju contains a high amount of calories. Hence, it should only be consumed in moderate amounts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is soju?

Soju is a distilled alcoholic drink, usually made from rice. It is clear in appearance and works well with meat dishes.

What does soju taste like?

Soju has a clean and sweet taste. It tastes a bit like vodka but with a bit more sweetness. It is known to have a bitter aftertaste and is absolutely delicious!

What is soju made from?

Soju is made from natural starches like rice, barley, tapioca, sweet potatoes, etc.

Is soju healthy to consume?

Soju is not the healthiest of drinks. It is high in calories and can lead you to gain weight if consumed in excessive amounts.

What are the most popular brands of soju?

Some of the most popular brands of soju include Jinro’s Chamisul, Chum-Churum, GoodDay, Chungha, Maehwasu, Daesun soju, and C1 Blue, O2 Linn, etc.

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