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Can You Drink Expired Soju?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Yes, expired you can drink expired soju because it’s distilled alcohol, so it will be good for at least 3 to 5 years. However, if the soju smells weird then it might be better to avoid drinking.

Distilled alcohol can last long. You can drink it once you open the bottle even 10 years later, but once it smells weird then don’t drink it.

If you are planning to store soju for a long time, then remove the cap and cover with plastic wrap to prevent the carbon dioxide from leaking out of the container and put the cap back on.

If you want to keep reading more about soju, then please keep reading on.

When Does Soju Expire?

Normally soju can be kept for 3 to 5 years and Koreans tend to drink it within a year of producing. However, in most cases, the bottle will be opened after a week or two and consumed by then.

After opening the soju, if you don’t plan to drink it immediately then make sure that you properly close the lid. If there is no cap available then make sure that the lid is tightly sealed with a plastic wrap.

Don’t store it in direct sunlight or hot area because once the bottle is opened, even for a short time, then the alcohol will evaporate faster. Also avoid placing soju near chemicals because they might leak into your container if you are not careful with how you place them.

It’s also important to avoid mixing soju with other drinks when it’s expired. It can cause a chemical reaction and might give you a headache or in worst cases even diarrhea.

Does Soju Need to Be Refrigerated?

Generally speaking, soju should be refrigerated to taste the best. But it can also be kept at room temperature. Cold soju tastes better and it might help with a hangover, but room temperature soju is also okay to drink.

However, if you are planning to store the bottles for a long time then please make sure that you keep them in a cool, dark place. If it’s exposed to direct sunlight or hot area then the taste will be degraded at a faster.

Make sure to consume some food before drinking soju. It really helps with the taste and also helps you to not drink too much.

What I normally do when drinking soju is to drink it with food together. Eating it with some tteobokki or kimchi is really good.

The majority of people in Korea eat it with some spicy food. Spicy food with soju is really good, especially if you like eating spicy food. Your tastebuds will explode, and you’ll be mind blown by how good it tastes.

Is Soju Dangerous?

No, drinking soju is not dangerous. Keep in mind that drinking too much soju can be dangerous because it’s alcoholic, but once you drink it in moderation, then there won’t be any problems with your health.

It’s also important that mixing soju with other drinks is dangerous and harmful to the body. If you’re planning to mix it with other alcoholic drinks, make sure to do it in moderation.

Don’t mix very strong alcohol with soju because it might be dangerous. If you really have to mix, then drink it in small sips.

The most famous soju mixed drinks are Yakult or regular beer. These types of mixes are extremely popular in Korea, and you can order them anywhere.

What I’ve noticed is that most people mix it with beer. It’s not too strong and removes the bitter taste of beer, making it more refreshing and tasty for people who don’t like the taste of beer.

So yeah, soju is not dangerous as long as you drink it in moderation and avoid mixing high-proof alcohol with it.

Can You Drink Soju from The Bottle?

Yes, soju can be drunk from the bottle, but it’s not recommended if you’re drinking with older people. If you’re alone, then it’s okay to drink soju straight from the bottle.

Drinking soju with older people should be done from a glass. If you don’t have a glass, then you can use a measuring cup or any kind of cup that will make it look like you’re drinking from a glass.

In Korean culture, people drink from the same glass, and sometimes they even share the bottle to reduce how much they have to drink because soju is strong.

Most of the time, the older people fill your glass first, and you return the favor by doing the same. Make sure to use two hands when they are filling your glass because it’s disrespectful if you don’t.


All in all expired soju can be drunk as long as it’s not expired for more than 5 years. The best soju to drink is one that is recently manufactured or purchased, but if you have some soju that has been sitting in your closet for a long time then feel free to drink it, just make sure to keep the bottle closed and refrigerate it when possible.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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