In Korea, soju and beer are the two most popular drinks. Many people enjoy drinking both separately, but somaek enthusiasts will say that mixing them gives you the best of both worlds.
This might go against the unwritten rule of never mixing alcohol because apparently, the hangovers when you do so are indescribable. However, somaek is an exception in the Korean drinking culture.
Let’s take a deep dive into somaek and everything you need to know about this refreshing concoction.
What Is Somaek?
Firstly, somaek is made of soju shots mixed with beer. The word is an abbreviation of the words “Soju” and “Maekju” that mean beers in Korean.
Some people might argue that there is no official rule on how much of each to pour, however, the golden standard seems to be 3 parts soju to 7 parts beer.
Somaek gives you the refreshing hit of a beer with the slight smooth aftertaste of soju.
What are the best beers to make Somaek? We got you covered!
What Are The Best Beer And Soju Combinations For Somaek?
We will list below some of the best brands of beers that you can drink in your somaek cocktail. However, for an authentic somaek, most light and crisp beers will do. You will need to avoid any beers that have a strong and overpowering flavor, as this will completely mask the soju.
The best brand of beer to use would be Cass for the quintessential Korean somaek experience.
Cass is a relatively light beer that perfectly balances the soju with its low flavor profile. It masks the sweetness of soju whilst simultaneously elevating the soju taste and maintaining the freshness of the beer.
If Cass is not available, you can also opt for Budweiser, which is a slightly heavier yet still smooth beer, albeit it doesn’t elevate the taste of soju quite as well as Cass.
Read More: The 10 Best Korean Beers
If none of the above are available, you can always go for Carlsberg or Heineken as well.
In terms of soju flavors, any flavor will work for your Somaek. Each flavor will add its fruity touch so choose it according to your preferences.
How To Make Somaek?
There are a few ways to make somaek, but the easiest and probably most popular method would be to pour three parts of soju into a glass of seven parts of beer and gently stir its contents together.
If you’re looking a more fun way to make a Somaek, let’s learn how to make a soju beer bomb!
How To Make A Soju Beer Bomb?
For the ultimate somaek party drinking experience, we recommend creating soju beer bombs on the table.
Here are 6 cool methods to create a soju beer bomb that will impress your friends for sure!
- Yes Sir! Soju Bomb
- Domino Bomb
- Americano or Cappuccino
- Chopsticks Technique
- Soju Bomb With Tissue
- Tsunami Soju Bomb
We give you step-by-step instructions on how to do it below but watching the following video will be super useful too!
1. Yes Sir! Soju Bomb
To create a Yes Sir! Soju beer bomb, you first pour beer into your glass (seven parts, remember!).
Next, place a pair of chopsticks laying down on top of your glass with an inch distance between them.
Place your soju glass on top of the pair of chopsticks so that it’s precariously balancing on top of the glass.
Once everyone is ready, smack the table as hard and loud as you can so that the shot of soju falls into the glass of beer, and drink up!
If you’re looking to really impress, instead of hitting the table with your first, hit the table with your head, watch the soju glass fall in and drink up.
2. Domino Bomb
For a quick, easy and exciting method, try the domino bomb method. Line up your glasses of beer in a row and place the soju shots standing where the glasses are touching. There should be one less soju shot than there are beer glasses.
Next, take a rogue shot of soju, forcefully pour/throw it into the beer glass at the end whilst simultaneously knocking the first soju shot over. This will cause a domino effect and each soju glass thereafter will end up in a glass.
3. Americano or Cappuccino
For something a little less crazy, try the ‘Americano or Cappuccino’ soju bomb method. This method of enjoying the soju beer bomb only really differs in the method of pouring the beer.
For an Americano, pour the beer out slowly and leisurely, tilting the glass slightly. This is meant to resemble an Americano.
For a cappuccino, shake the beer bottle and pour immediately. This will result in the beer surging out like water from a hose, with beer froth topping the glass.
4. Chopsticks Technique
Not a fan of having to clean splattered beer? Be like many other Koreans and impress with the ‘chopsticks’ method of soju beer bombs.
Simply pour your beer and soju into a glass, hold one chopstick standing in the glass, and using the other chopstick, smack the first chopstick so that it hits onto the edge of the glass. This will cause a little tornado to form, and you immediately drink the soju bomb after.
Read More: Why Koreans Use Metal Chopsticks
5. Soju Bomb With Tissue
Another simple method that anyone can try is the soju and tissue method. Place a sheet of tissue on top of your soju and beer concoction, place your palm on top, lift up the glass up and give it a vigorous shake.
Immediately place the glass back down on the table, lift the tissue up and throw it on the wall behind you or even onto the ceiling (this is popular in Korea but might not be accepted where you are!), and drink your cocktail.
6. Tsunami Soju Bomb
Last but not least, enjoy your soju beer bomb as a ‘tsunami bomb’. Pour your beer and soju into a glass. Hold a chopstick in each hand, and continuously smack the glass, alternating between each side. After a few seconds, you will notice a ‘tsunami’ forming within the glass. When this happens, drink up!
If you want to have fun while drinking, you can also check out these 10 popular Korean drinking games.
How Do You Drink Somaek?
Somaek is typically drunk in loud, boisterous social settings, such as after-work drinks or during weekend dinner catchups with friends.
It’s a drink that pairs perfectly with bar food, or ‘anju’. The most popular bar food that somaek is drunk with is dried squid and seasoned nuts.
However, if you’re eating at a Korean fried chicken restaurant or a Korean snack food bar, somaek is almost a necessity.
Read More: Best Food To Pair With Soju
Somaek is a drink that can be swallowed in one go (with the assistance of your friends shouting at you to ‘GO GO GO!’), or it can be leisurely sipped on throughout a meal. It’s up to you!
Now that you’re well-versed in the art of making and drinking somaek, what are your thoughts?
Is this refreshing soju and beer combination right up your alley? Does the thought of smacking a table for a shot to fall into a glass so that you can drink it in one go excite you?
Or do you prefer taking straight soju shots?
Either way, both options offer a fun drinking experience and will embolden you to become more involved in the Korean drinking culture.
Feel free to also read our full guide on how to drink soju for more useful tips!