Drinking soju is a favourite Korean pastime, and it’s quickly earning its place as one of the most beloved alcoholic drinks in the world.
You may have seen soju being drunk in Korean dramas before, but if you’ve never tasted it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that there are a myriad of Soju flavours you can try on top of the original flavour!
The awesome and addictive flavours is probably why many people mistakenly think that soju is a ‘soft’ drink and will take forever to get them drunk – this is definitely not the case!
In Korean dramas, you’ll likely see quite a few bottles on the table before people start passing out and acting a little crazy. Whilst it doesn’t seem like much at all, soju is actually quite potent when you’re out drinking with friends!
Soju is a drink that isn’t just about the alcohol itself, but the experience of sharing it with those around you. It’s usually enjoyed around a table with other people, drank over a variety of heavy and flavorsome dishes where the soju just cuts through with a refreshing taste.
Before you know it, you’re 10 shots in and really feeling it.
Or was it 20 shots?
How Much Alcohol Is In Soju?
Soju is a drink that was initially and traditionally made from blends of rice and grains. However, during the shortage of such items during the Korean war, the use of them were banned, so people turned to starchy foods. This includes wheat, sweet potatoes, and tapioca.
A normal bottle of original soju will have approximately 24% of alcohol.
When compared to beer and wine, this is a staggering amount, as the former averages only 4% alcohol and the latter averages 5%! This means you’re 6 times more likely to get drunk drinking soju than beer!
However, when compared to heavy spirits such as voda, it is fairly light, as vodka has a 40% alcohol content. We have to admit, though, soju tastes a heck of a lot better!
Read More: What’s The Legal Drinking Age In Korea?
How Many Shots Of Soju To Get Drunk?
As with most alcohol, this is really dependent on the individual.
Such things as height, weight, metabolism, food and drinks you’ve had beforehand, and sometimes even your gender will affect just how much you can take (more so about the body composition than anything else!). It will also depend if you’re drinking the original Soju bottle or fruit flavored soju bottle, which generally have less alcohol content.
Soju is likely drunk when you’re out at a Korean restaurant with family and friends. With that kind of excitement and party atmosphere, you’ll likely almost always drink more than you should!
A standard Korean soju glass size is 50ml, thus one bottle is roughly seven shots. The average number of shots that it takes to get a person tipsy drunk is roughly 7 shots or 1 bottle of soju.
However, no one ever really stops at one bottle! Once you get to 2, you’re definitely going to be drunk. At 3, you’ll likely not remember anything the next day!
How Many Shots Of Soju Are Recommended To Drink?
Soju is not exactly the healthiest drink. It contains quite a few calories (especially the flavored bottles!), and combined with its high alcoholic content, can be detrimental to your diet.
It is ‘recommended’ that men and women drink no more than 2 to 4 shots of soju a day.
However, if you’ve ever had a drink of soju with your mates, you know that this rarely, rarely happens.
The best would be to stop drinking when you start to feel unwell or at least slow down your consumption of Soju at that time.
Read More: Best Korean Drinking Games
What To Do When You Have A Soju Hangover?
Koreans have been getting drunk off soju for decades, so of course they have the perfect sure for a soju hangover!
If you’re really feeling the effects of drinking soju excessively the night before, go and find yourself at a Korean restaurant and ask for ‘haejangguk’ – which means the stew to cure a hangover.
Haejangguk can actually come in many different forms, however, the two most popular are made with either dried pollack bean sprouts and / or soybean paste and cabbage.
If haejangguk is not available in your country, there are still many other ways for you to cure that nasty hangover.
Another option would be to make yourself a nice hot cup of (potent) green tea and sip on it slowly when you wake up. Green tea is full of antioxidants and will help cleanse your body and warm you up on the inside.
If you’re feeling exhausted and hungover at the same time, make yourself a how bowl of Korean instant ramen and slowly make your way through that. It’s an easy and quick way to fill up your empty stomach (empty from all that vomiting, possibly!).
The spice of the ramen will hopefully offset the alcohol from the previous night. However, if you’ve been consuming ramen all night as well, the smell might make you feel a little nauseous!
Lastly, if you happen to be in Korea, why not wake up and head straight to a jjimjilbang, or a Korean spa and sweat it out all your toxins?
We hope we’ve answered your question about just how much soju you need to get drunk!
But if not, look, if you’re a lightweight, no more than a bottle should do the trick. And if you’re heavyweight? You’re looking at three to four bottles, easily!
We recommend drinking soju over the ever popular Korean fried chicken dish – when you take a shot of the fresh soju after all that oily goodness, you’ll know it’s a match made in heaven. For more suggestions, feel free to check out our blog post about soju food pairing.