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10 Ways to Enjoy Soju


10 Ways to Enjoy Soju

For all visual demonstrations of the following list, watch the video above :)

  1. Take a LOVE SHOT with your crush! Actually you can share this fun and flirty moment with anyone: your significant other, friends, momma, poppa, etc.
  2. Enjoy a pitcher of YOGURT SOJU! As a kid, my friends and I liked to drink the Asian yogurt drinks. Now yogurt drinks grew up and married soju. It's a popular beverage sold in Korea and Koreatown LA.
  3. Take a ride on the SEOUL TRAIN! The more friends, the better. Line up a glass of half-filled beer, then place a line of shot glasses of soju on top. Knock one side of the soju line and the rest tumble like dominoes! Check out the epically long Seoul Train in Psy's "Hangover" video at 42 seconds in.
  4. Get fruity with WATERMELON SOJU! It's a refreshing treat for the hot summer days and a great tropical vacation in the mouth during chilly winter months.
  5. Or you can just drink your soju VIRGIN! Bring your bottle of soju to enjoy by the Han River. Maybe drink it on your hike at Bukhansan Mountain (which Yoonah and I did in this KWOW episode).
  6. Shake your soju bottle to create a TORNADO! Not up and down, but shake in rotated circles. Then stop upright. Some say soju tornadoes soften the flavor, but no one really knows why Koreans love to shake it. It sure can be a great arm exercise!
  7. Play some drinking games, like FLICK THE SOJU CAP! After popping open your bottle, don't toss the cap. There will be a metal strip dangling. Take turns flicking it with your buddies. Whoever flicks the metal off is the winner! Either the people sitting right and left of them drink, or just everyone. Watch the demo in the video above.
  8. Another game with the cap: GUESS THE NUMBER. Many soju caps have a number written inside. Whoever guesses the correct number chooses who will drink the next shot of soju.
  9. Drink your soju with ANJU! Anju are foods that accompany alcohol. Every type of alcohol has their own dedicated set of anju. Pork belly is eaten with soju, while fried chicken is eaten with beer.
  10. After the party, CLEAN WITH SOJU! Some Korean BBQ restaurants replace the top of soju bottles with a spray and use the alcohol to wipe tables. True story.


Korean Phrases for Partying and Drinking Etiquette


Korean Phrases for Partying and Drinking Etiquette

*the following phrases are informal, so use towards friends and those younger than you.

It’s Fire Friday!
(Formal version: 불금이예요! Bulgeumiyeyo!)

While "bulgeum" is the most popular combo, you can apply "bul" (fire) to other weekdays.
불토 / Fire Saturday / bulto
불일 / Fire Sunday / bulil
불월 / Fire Monday / bulwol
불화 / Fire Tuesday / bulhwa
불수 /Fire Wednesday / bulsu
불목 / Fire Thursday / bulmok

불금인데 뭐해?
Bulgeumindae mwohae?
It’s Fire Friday. What are you gonna do?
(Formal: 불금인데 뭐해요? Bulgeumindae mwohaeyo?)

소맥 한잔 해야지.
Ssomek hanjan haeyaji.
We must drink somek.
(Formal: 소맥 한잔 해야지요. Ssomek hanjan haeyajiyo.)

왜 혼자 따랐어?
Wae honja ddalassuh?
Why’d you pour for yourself?
(Formal: 왜 혼자 따랐어요? Wae honja ddalassuhyo?)

폭탄주 만들 줄 알아?
Poktanju mandeul jul alah?
Do you know how to make bomb shots?
(Formal: 폭탄주 만들 줄 알아요? Poktanju mandeul jul alahyo?)

내가 폭탄주 만들어 줄게.
Naega poktanju mandeuluh julggae.
I’ll make a bomb shot for you.
(Formal: 재가 폭탄주 만들어 줄게요. Jaega poktanju mandeuluh julggaeyo.)

너 주량이 어떻게 돼?
Nuh julyangee eodduhgae dwae?
What’s your drinking capacity?
(Formal: 주량이 어떻게 돼요? Julyangee eodduhgae dwaeyo?)

너 술버릇 있어?
Nuh sulbeoleut issuh?
Do you have any drinking habits?
(Formal: 술버릇 있어요? Sulbeoleut issuhyo?)

나는 취하면 애교가 많아져.
Naneun chwihamyun aegyoga manahjyuh.
When I get drunk, I have a lot of aegyo. 
(Formal: 저는 취하면 애교가 많아져요. Jeoneun chwihamyun aegyoga manajyeoyo.)

나는 취하면 그냥 자.
Naneun chwihamyun geunyang ja.
When I get drunk, I just fall asleep.
(Formal: 저는 취하면 그냥 자요. Jeoneun chwihamyun geunyang jayo.)

나는 소주 한병 마실 수 있어.
Naneun ssoju hanbyung mashil soo issuh.
I can drink one bottle of soju.
(Formal: 저는 소주 한병 마실 수 있어요. Jeoneun soju hanbyeong mashil soo issuhyo.)

난 맥주 한잔이면 만취야.
Nan mekju hanjanemyun manchwiya.
I get super drunk off a serving of beer.
(Formal: 전 맥주 한잔이면 만취예요. Jeon mekju hanjanimyun manchwiyeyo.)

요즘은 어느 클럽이 물이 좋아?
Yojeumeun uhneu keullubee moolee joah?
What’s the best club to go these days?
(Formal: 요즘은 어느 클럽이 물이 좋아요? Yojeumeun uhneu keullubee moolee joayo?)


“Gunbae” is the old-school way of saying “cheers.” Use it when drinking with work colleagues and elders. Remember to clink your glass with your party peoples. What do the younger generations say these days?


JJAN is the sound effect of glasses hitting each other. Use JJAN with friends or people your age. Don’t use it with the elders.


Homo Hill: Korea's Gay District


Homo Hill: Korea's Gay District

Curious of the alleys tucked away from Itaewon's main drag, Granny Kim and her sidekick Granny Bae explore the famous Homo Hill. Celebrities, locals and foreigners alike party it up at this short yet vibrant street. The grannies dance with a group of hotties and end up at a drag show! You don't want to miss this episode:

Featured hotspots:

  1. My Thai
    Phone: (02) 794-8090
    Hours: 11am-2am
    Address: 123-20 Itaewon-dong
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 이태원동 123-20)
  2. MYX
    Phone: (02) 792-7888
    Hours: 6pm-3am on weekdays, 6pm-5am on weekends
    Address: 47 Usadan-ro
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 우사단로 47)
  3. Always Homme
    Phone: (02) 798-0578
    Cover fee: None
    Hours: 7pm-2am on weekdays, 7pm-5am on weekends
    Address: On the right side of Queen. Refer to #5.
  4. Soho
    Cover fee: None
    Address: Across from Always Homme.
  5. Queen
    Phone: (10) 2559-4401
    Happy hour: 8-11pm
    Cover fee: None
    Address: 136 Itaewon-dong
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 이태원동 136)
  6. Trance
    Hours: Open after 11pm
    Cover fee: 10,000 won + 1 drink
    Address: On the left side of Queen. Refer to #5.
    FYI: Drag shows after 2am.
  7. Eat Me
    Address: Located across from Queen. Refer to #5.
    FYI: Take intermission from drinking and savor chicken wings.
  8. The Bungalow
    Phone: (02) 793-2344
    Address: 112-3 Itaewon-dong
    Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
    (in Korean: 서울 용산구 이태원동 112-3)

The businesses from numbers 3-7 are on Homo Hill. Because it is a short street, you won't take too long to find them. Directions to Homo Hill:

  • Exit 3 at Itaewon Station (Seoul Subway Line 6).
  • Walk straight for 100 meters and turn right at the first intersections onto Usandan-ro.
  • Turn at second left. You'll see the gay-friendly bars and clubs are lined up next to one another.

Enjoy your night out at Itaewon! Cheers :)