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Korean Soju Is Favorite Drink for Drowning Sorrows

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Korean Soju Is Favorite Drink for Drowning SorrowsKorean Soju is favorite drink for drowning sorrows! Soju (Hangul 소주; Hanja 燒酒) is a distilled beverage native to Korea. Most brands of modern Soju are made in South Korea. Though traditionally made from rice, most major brands supplement or even replace the rice with other starches such as potato, wheat, barley, sweet potato, or tapioca (called dangmil in Korean).

Soju is clear in colour and typically varies in alcohol content from about 20% to about 45% alcohol by volume (ABV), with 20% ABV being most common. Its taste is comparable to vodka, though often slightly sweeter because of the sugars added in the manufacturing process.

Korean Soju Is Favorite Drink for Drowning Sorrows

Koreans drink different kinds of alcohol according to how they feel at the moment, a survey suggests. In the survey by the Korea Alcohol Research Center late last year of 2,200 people aged 19 to 59, some 85.2 percent of respondents said they drink Soju when they are distressed by personal problems, and 63.5 percent said they prefer beer when they are tired. Whiskey was the preferred drink for business occasions among 63.5 percent of respondents, and 70.8 percent chose wine as the best drink for creating a friendly or romantic mood.

Location also affected people’s choice of drink. In Japanese restaurants, Soju was the most popular with 67.2 percent, followed by clear rice wine with 53.7 percent. Soju also ranked first in Chinese restaurants with 49.6 percent, with hard liquors at second place with 27.1 percent. In sushi restaurants and Korean restaurants, Soju was the undisputed leader with 81.1 percent and 88.9 percent respectively.

When drinking at home 75.1 percent of respondents said they chose beer over any other alcohol. Some 74.4 percent considered beer the best drink for workplace events, and 79.6 percent reached for beer when drinking outdoors. Drinking habits also varied according to gender. Men usually consume alcohol just because they like drinking or to relive stress, while women drink because they see it as a way to express their personality.

The average adult consumed seven 350 ml bottles of Soju or eight 500 ml bottles of beer per month. By gender, men drank 10.5 bottles of Soju on average, while the average for women was 4.1 bottles. As for beer, men consumed 10.6 bottles, and women 5 bottles.

Beer Marks 4 Decades as Drink of Choice for Koreans

Koreans rank beer as their no. 1 tipple of choice, according to the National Tax Service. Beer consumption went up 45-fold over the past four decades.

Koreans drank more than 43,000 kiloliters of beer in 1966 and kept on chugging, with consumption reaching a whopping 1.9 million kl in 2007. Soju came second with consumption increasing nine times over the same period, while traditional drinks like rice wine fell in popularity.

When it comes to alcohol tax, beer also ranked first, accounting for over 43 percent of the total tax on alcohol last year.

Copyrights ⓒ 2009 The Chosun Ilbo & Digital Chosun Ilbo All rights reserved – Chosun.com

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