Soju—it’s the drink that’s been enjoyed in Korea since as early as the 13th century. It’s a drink utterly timeless, yet criminally overlooked. Thankfully, the days of soju being a niche spirit is coming to an end as its popularity has been constantly growing in the past decade, especially with soju mixes. More and more local bars, home cupboards, and store shelves stocking up with the stuff. HiteJinro, the most recognizable brand and the one you probably picture first when thinking of soju, has even cited double-digit percentage growth in its annual sales as recently as 2017-2019.
We Filipinos may not be strangers to the Korean spirit, but we’ve only scratched the surface. Soju is filled with potential, whether it be for nightcaps, get-togethers, dinners, K-drama binges—you name it. We’re already showing you some far-out K-Pop-inspired soju cocktail recipes in Spirit of Seoul: Soju Cocktail Mixing Class, but in this guide, we’ll show you some more soju mixes you can try at home. Who knows? You might just find your new go-to.
1. Soju Yakult
It’s soju 101. This is the usual for casual soju drinkers apart from just straight-up. It’s a sweet, easy, yet punchy mix you can make with items easily found at your nearest convenience store. All you need to do is make a mixture of two parts soju and one part Yakult, and add your lemon-lime soda of choice to taste. If you’re not into the sweetness, you can sub the 7-Up or Sprite out for plain soda water to retain its effervescence but to cut down on the sugar. You can also mix it up by experimenting with different flavors of soju like peach and grape! You can find a more in-depth breakdown over at the Noob Cook.
2. Soju Latté
This one’s for all the coffee lovers out there. Feel the energy levels dropping before the night’s even started? If so, this one’s perfect for you. Just brew or buy your favorite cup of joe, and you’re halfway done. Mix in two shots of original or plain-flavored soju for every half cup of coffee, and voila! You have your soju latté. Just remember not to mix the whole cocktail all at once on your first try. Experiment with the coffee, soju, milk, and sugar volumes before committing. Everyone enjoys their coffee differently, and the soju latté is no different. We have Yummy.PH to thank for this idea.
Things are getting wild now. The Cojinganmek is the ultimate party drink. It’s delicious, easy, and loads of fun to have with friends. What you’ll need is beer, Coke, and, of course, soju. Take a large beer glass and place an empty shot glass inside. Next, fill it halfway with Coca-Cola. Then, you’ll want to take another shot glass and put that inside the first shot glass with Coke. Fill that all the way with soju, and then finally pour your choice of brewski into the glass. Only thing left to do is enjoy! Seoul Eats put us on to this great idea.
Though ideal for the summertime, this Korean cocktail is great all year round. What you’ll need is a bottle of soju, Melona ice cream, and lemon-lime soda. First step is to pour three shots of soju into a glass. Then, add the soda to taste. Lastly, stir with your choice of Melona ice cream. We recommend the classic honeydew or strawberry. Sip and enjoy as the ice cream melts and mixes into the cocktail. Thanks to the Discoverist for this unique and refreshing cocktail.
5. Subak Soju
Here’s another one that’s great for the Philippine heat. Subak Soju, or Watermelon Soju, is the ideal party drink that will leave your guests and families talking. What you’ll want to do first is to chop the top off a small watermelon and scoop out all the flesh. Next, place all the chunks in a blender and blend until smooth. Mix in a bottle of soju and add lemon-lime soda to taste. Then, pour the mixture all back into the carved out watermelon. From there, you can add ice cube and serve as a refreshing beverage, or freeze for a couple of hours. If you choose to freeze, what you’ll get is a delicious alcoholic slush guaranteeing a good time. You can find a video tutorial for this right here.
This is one cocktail that will have you up and making the most out of the night in no time. The recipe consists of only three ingredients: Red Bull, soju, and Gatorade. You can play around with the proportions, but we recommend mixing Red Bull and soju in equal measures, and adding a splash of blue Gatorade for sweetness and color. Electrolytes are a bonus. This one’s a definite upper that will have you energized and with a buzz like no other.
7. Soju Sangria
The sangria is already a drink loved by casual-drinkers and enthusiasts alike, but this take adds a unique Korean twist. For this soju recipe, mix grapefruit juice and lemon juice according to your preference. Then, instead of adding red wine and brandy, add a couple shots of soju. It’s easy to make, but the result is undeniable. It’s a deceptively strong drink, so take it easy as its astounding flavor profile may have you wanting to drink whole glasses at a time!