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How Many Bottles of Soju Can You Drink?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Normally, people drink one or two bottles of soju at most, but some people are known to drink up to 5 bottles at once. Drinking more than 2 bottles of soju can cause sleepiness and a lack of memory.

Make sure to only drink once or twice a week, sometimes three, but don’t drink too much. Soju contains up to 45% alcohol, depending on the flavor.

Even if you’re a heavy drinker, it’s not good to drink more than 3 bottles at once. Try to take small shots and take your time when drinking soju.

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

How Many Shots Is a Bottle of Soju Equivalent To?

A bottle of soju is 20% alcohol, which means that when you drink a bottle, it’s the same as drinking 7 to 8 shots in one night. When compared to drinks like whiskey, then one glass is equal to about 1.5 shots, which means that a bottle of soju is the equivalent of 11 – 12 shots.

In Korea, most people drink soju instead of other alcoholic drinks. If you were to drink soju and beer back and forth, then the amount of shots in a bottle is equivalent to about 4 bottles of beer.

Drinking soju should be done in moderation and should be enjoyed one glass at a time. If you feel like you’re getting tipsy, then try taking some juice or water.

The worst thing is getting a hangover the day after. This happens a lot, and many people in Korea eat curry soup to cure the hangover.

This works really well but doesn’t taste as good as it used to because of the hangover. Another thing that works really well is kimchi. Kimchi helps release the toxins in your body and also relieves headaches if you have one.

Make sure to eat a lot of rice and drink lots of water when you wake up after drinking. This makes it easier to get rid of the hangover and feel better in general.

How Long Does It Take for Soju to Kick In?

Generally speaking, it takes up to 10 minutes before you feel the soju kick in, depending on your body type. This is why people keep drinking until they suddenly blackout.

It’s often because they don’t feel anything. Especially people that drink for the first time feel that way. So it’s important to not drink too much at once and take it slowly. This way, you can feel the buildup and know when you have enough.

When you drink soju, it’s important to eat some snacks or side dishes to help prevent motion sickness and nausea. One of the main reasons for people getting sick when they drink is because their stomachs are empty.

This is why people in Korea drink soju with some fried chicken, kimchi, or grilled meat. Eating food with soju really helps, and you won’t get sick or feel drunk.

Why Do You Shake Soju?

Soju must be shaken because it’s a tradition, it creates a mini-whirlpool, and it’s often hit with the elbow and then drunk. People shake soju because it has become a trend and removes the bad “energy” from the soju.

Some people say that shaking the soju will taste better, and that’s why they do it. It’s up to you if you want to shake or not but just note that there is no real reason for shaking soju, and it has become a trend more than anything else.

Here below are the three main reasons why people shake soju before drinking:

Soju Whirlpool

The soju whirlpool has become extremely popular, and people share it all over social media. It’s also shown in many Korean dramas and slowly becoming one of the most iconic images of Korea.

People want to drink soju with other people and share it together because they’re always on social media or messaging apps like Kakaotalk. So people oftentimes take a picture of themselves sharing soju or just drinking it themselves.


It has become a tradition to shake the soju before drinking especially when you’re with people that are your age. If you’re with older people, do not shake the bottle or do anything weird. It can come over as disrespectful.


Some people say it tastes way better when the soju bottle is shaken. It’s said that the taste becomes more “refreshing,” and it mixes all of the ingredients and flavors together.

Is Soju Stronger than Wine?

Soju is about 5 or 6% stronger than wine. However, there are many types of soju, so that the strongest soju would be around 20% stronger than average wine.

Even though soju might be stronger than wine, wine isn’t something you drink like soju. The purposes of those drinks are very different from each other, so the results they have on you are different as well.

In Korea, wine is used for weddings or big celebrations at restaurants. Soju is more common, and something people drink every day.

Also, there are a lot of types of wines out there that can be just as strong as soju, depending on what it is. So it’s not fair to say that wine is always milder or weaker than soju.


Generally speaking, people can drink up to 5 bottles of soju at most, but after that, they generally pass out. And most people don’t drink that much because it creates a very bad hangover the next day.

It is common to drink 1 bottle when going out to drink with friends or family. But there are also “soju bombs” where people basically shoot soju into their mouth and chase it with beer.

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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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