HYPHE-NATED

Culture Lost in translation

Why do Koreans hit the soju bottle when opening it? Learn how to do it like a pro!

Why do Koreans shake and hit the soju bottle's neck when opening it?

Continued from Why do Koreans hit the soju bottle when opening it? Learn how to do it like a pro!

How do Korean people crack open a cold bottle of soju? From the look of it, by observing what they do in a pojangmacha 포장마차 scene from K-dramas or the patrons getting tipsy at a K-town restaurant, one can conclude that there’s a pretty complicated ritual involved with opening the iconic green bottle of soju!

RELATED : Don’t go to a Korean restaurant without reading this: Korean dining etiquette and and questions answered. 

Types of Korean drinking games! Sam-yuk-gu 삼육구 (“3,6,9”) / Son Byung Ho 손병호 / Image Game 이미지 게임 / Nunchi Game 눈치 게임 / Baskin Robbins 31! Learn how to play them like a native Korean!

But what’s the logic behind it? Soju is clear liquor just like vodka and for that, it doesn’t contain anything else like other flavored liqueurs like Baileys Irish Cream or Kahlua, so no point in burning up the precious calories you worked so hard to gain, right?

Well, contrary to the convenient screw caps used for soju bottles nowadays, corkscrews were the norm, just like wine bottles. And we know what happens to them when they are not stored properly – they get all dried up and become crumbly, leaving unwanted cork pieces inside the drink (hey, but they are fiber)!

So in order to remove them, people made a point of shaking and swirling the bottle to get the residue to float to the top, then pull out the cork, and finally splash out the impurities by either pouring it out or giving it a nice chop with the hand blade.

As the corkscrewed soju bottles have gone extinct and metal screw caps are what’s keeping the bottles tightly sealed, the rituals are pointless, but the rituals still live on (even many Korean people don’t know why they do it). What do you think? Personally, I think it’s what makes drinking soju more fun!

Now you know how to open a cold bottle of soju. Here’s a quick Korean soju flair show lesson for your next soju outing!

One of the many things that makes drinking soju with Korean friends more fun is that you get to watch them perform a flair bartending show!
One of the many things that makes drinking soju with Korean friends more fun is that you get to watch them perform a flair bartending show!

Story continues – What do Koreans eat to cure hangovers? What’s 1-cha, 2-cha Koreans count when drinking?

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