Soju Tasting


Soju is a Korean drink usually referred to as a rice wine. But I am not sure why they use the word, wine. It’s about 40 proof and always tastes like watered down whiskey.

I had remembered going to some club in St. Louis back when I lived there. On Thursday nights or something, they would have a soju drink special that featured like eight different kinds of fruit flavored sojus. The weirdest part was that this place was not a Korean club. Nor do I remember it even particularly Asian at all. They just had fruity soju. And club music.

I couldn’t find flavored sojus at the liquor store near my parents’ house. These are what I found instead.

My parents don’t drink, so finding appropriate vessels for this soju tasting for four people was interesting. We had a shot glass, two Korean tea cups, a third tea cup, and some bowls.

The first bottle I picked up was Sahn (mountain) Soju. It had a mountain on the label and tasted like regular soju. Not very interesting. From what my sister’s fiance tells me, this brand is preferred by old Korean dudes.

The next bottle I bought was raspberry wine soju. Last time we did this, my wife and I had tried a black raspberry soju from this same company. The last time, it tasted like medicine at first but then tasted good by the time we got to the end of the bottle. I can pretty much say the same for this one.

The soju that we saved for last was Pyong Yang brand soju. I bought this because my dad told me it was from North Korea.

How is that even possible?

Apparently, the one thing that you can buy from North Korea is soju. But if you look at the label on the back of the bottle, there is no bar code. Pyong Yang soju does not have a bar code because they don’t use bar codes in North Korea. This makes sense to me, in an astonishing way.

Pyongyang Soju tastes terrible – like cheap, watered down whiskey mixed with cheap, watered down vodka. I would consider it the Wolfschmidt of the soju universe. But it is from North Korea, which makes it weird and funny.

I kind of expected that it would taste like children’s tears and grass.

The last bottle I picked up was was mek col li. This was something that my dad told me we just had to try. I looked at the bottle, and it had milky white particulates at the bottom of it. I had a feeling that it would taste like laundry water.

My dad told me that it was something that farmers would drink in the middle of the day to re-energize themselves. He made it sound like it was the Guiness of Korea.

One should drink it from a bowl, which I did. I made my wife drink it from her own bowl. I made my sister and her fiance drink it too.  Out of our bowls, the mek col li was actually quite nice. It was slightly sweet and tasted like rice. Not like laundry water at all. I actually want to drink this again.

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2 Comments

Filed under koreanFood

2 responses to “Soju Tasting

  1. >I love that your head is still sticking out of that plant beyond the Pyongyang soju.

  2. >I did not stage that picture of me near the plant or anything. That's really how my parents' house is on a daily basis. It delights me to no end.

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