11 Soju Recipes: Sprite mix, Cocktail, Yakult & More

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Soju is a famous and versatile distilled rice spirit throughout Korea. It’s been around since at least the 14th century and integral to Korean social culture.

You can mix it with almost anything, providing a uniquely refreshing cocktail.

Here are 11 of some of the more popular and interesting ones to try.

For the uninitiated, Soju has a low alcohol-by-volume percentage, around 14% to 35% depending on the brand. Actually, the word “Soju” translates to “Brandy.” So, you could consider this a type of Korean brandy.

Quick Overview

  • Yogurt Soju – Soju with Drinkable Yogurt
  • Poktanju (or Soju Bomb) – Soju and Beer
  • Cojinganmek – Soju, Coca Cola and Beer
  • Subak Soju – Watermelon Soju
  • Soju Latte – Soju and Creamy Coffee
  • Soju Mojito – Soju with Mint, Sprite and Citrus Marmalade
  • Soju Makgeolli – Soju with Makgeolli
  • Strawberry Soju – Soju with Ginger, Strawberries, Basil
  • Sangria Soju – Soju, Ripened Stone Fruit, Sparkling Rosé Wine and Sparkling Mineral Water
  • Korean Screwdriver – Soju & Orange Juice
  • Fizzy Pineapple Soju – Soju, Pineapple Juice & Lemon-Lime Soda

1. Yogurt Soju

This is a very traditional drink in South Korea that provides a smooth yet refreshing and tangy twist to Soju. It has a thicker consistency, but the fizzy aspect of the soda makes it dance on your taste buds.

Total Servings: 9 ounces or 2 cocktails

Items You’ll Need

  • Boston Shaker
  • Rocks Glasses
  • 1-Ounce Shot Glass (for measuring)

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Yakult (or other drinkable yogurt)
  • 4 oz Lemon-Lime Soda (such as Sprite or 7up)
  • 3 oz Soju (plain or flavored with lemon or lime)
  • Ice
  • Lemon or Lime Wedges (for garnish – optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the drinkable yogurt and soju to your Boston shaker.
  2. Agitate the shaker vigorously over your shoulder for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the Lemon-Lime Soda (don’t shake).
  4. Strain the mixture in to rocks glasses.
  5. Garnish with lemon and/or lime wedges and enjoy!

2. Poktanju (or Soju Bomb Drink)

This is essentially a drink that accompanies a Korean drinking game called “Titanic.” 

Total Servings: One cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • One Tall Beer Glass
  • One Shot Glass

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Soju (in the shot glass)
  • 12 oz Bottle of Light Beer (something comparable to Korea’s Hite or Cass Fresh)

Instructions

  1. Fill the tall glass about 50% to 70% of the way full with beer.
  2. Fill the shot glass with soju.
  3. Gently drop the shot glass into the beer.
  4. Consume the whole thing as quickly as possible.

3. Cojinganmek

This is an interesting cocktail that is not for the faint of heart. While incredibly and famously popular in Korea, this takes some getting used to. It combines coca cola with beer and soju.

Total Servings: One cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • Shot Glass
  • Highball or Beer Glass

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Soju
  • 1 oz Coca Cola
  • 8 oz Beer

Instructions

  1. Chill the glass for about 30 minutes.
  2. Pour in the Soju first and then mix it gently with the Coca Cola.
  3. Pour the Beer over the top.
  4. Consume in as few gulps as possible.

4. Subak Soju

This is a great summer drink that’s crisp, refreshing and highlights the sweetness of Soju. Subak is the Korean word for “watermelon.”

Total Servings: Four to eight cocktails

Items You’ll Need

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Spoon
  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Fine Mesh Strainer (optional)
  • Large Bowl
  • Drinking Straws

Ingredients

  • 2 Watermelons (small and seedless) or one large watermelon
  • 2 Soju Bottles (refrigerated and chilled – you can use Watermelon-flavored Soju for this)
  • 2 Cups Ice

Instructions

  1. With the knife on the cutting board, cut the Watermelons in half.
  2. Using the big spoon, scoop out the fruit’s flesh and put it in the blender or food processor.
  3. Set the rinds aside, you will use these either as a cup or a vessel to hold the final blended cocktail.
  4. Blend the Watermelon flesh until smooth and there are no chunks or hard pieces.
  5. Place the fine mesh strainer over the large bowl and pour the blended watermelon through. Push down on the mash with the large spoon to extract as much of the juice as possible.
  6. For every four cups of Watermelon juice mix in four cups of Soju, making sure to stir well.
  7. Pour this cocktail mixture into the Watermelon rinds, add ice and serve chilly cold with a straw.

5. Soju Iced Latte

For a nice twist on a desert cocktail, this Soju Iced Latte is delicious. The good news is you don’t have to use espresso to make this work as you would a traditional latte. You can make this with any coffee and brewing form you like.

Total Servings: One cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • Tall Glass
  • Coffee or Espresso Maker

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Coffee or Espresso (or your favorite canned latte)
  • Sugar, Milk, Cream, Chocolate Syrup (or whatever you like to prepare your latte if not using canned)
  • 2 oz Soju (if you go with a flavor, opt for Vanilla)
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Brew or make your Coffee to the way you normally like to drink it.
  2. Pour 8 ounces (or ½ cup) of the Coffee into a tall glass over some Ice.
  3. Pour in the Soju and stir well.
  4. Add more ice and enjoy!

6. Soju Mojito

This is a newer favorite among Koreans and provides a fusion of this classic Caribbean rum drink with all the glory of Soju. Plus, this recipe is versatile and adjustable to whichever citrus you like best.

Total Servings: One cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • Highball Glass
  • Measuring Spoons & Cups
  • Shot Glass (for measuring Soju)
  • Cocktail Muddler (a pestle or spoon will do)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Yuzu Marmalade (or orange, lemon, bergamot and etc)
  • 10 to 13 Mint Leaves (fresh only)
  • 3 half slices of Citrus (yuzu, orange, lemon, bergamot and etc)
  • 2 oz or ¼ Cup Soju (you can use the Soju flavored to your particular marmalade)
  • 1 Cup Sprite (or other lemon-lime soda)
  • 2 tsp Agave Nectar
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. With the glass add the Marmalade, Citrus slices, Agave Nectar and fresh Mint.
  2. Mash this up with a cocktail muddler (or similar device) until you can smell the citrus minty aroma emanating from the glass and the mash looks fairly well-blended.
  3. Add the Soju, Sprite and Ice and stir well.
  4. Garnish with more Citrus and enjoy by sipping.

7. Soju Makgeolli

This is a popular cocktail in North Korea, it combines two traditional rice liquors specific to Korea: Soju and Makgeolli. This is quite strong but it’s also one of the most traditional cocktails from the region.

Makgeolli is a cloudy rice liquor that has an alcohol content between 5% and 13%. The recipe includes a blend of wheat or rice cultures, yeast and water. This is then roughly distilled and filtered, producing a milky appearance with a flavor that’s slightly sweet and a sour under taste.

Total Servings: One cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • Tall Glass
  • Drinking Straw
  • Stirring Spoon

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Soju
  • 3 oz Makgeolli
  • Ice
  • Apple Slices (optional)

Instructions

  1. Fill your glass ¾ of the way with Ice.
  2. Pour in the Soju followed by the Makgeolli.
  3. Stir this well for around 20 seconds.
  4. Use the Apple Slices as a garnish and sip slowly through a straw.

8. Strawberry Soju

This is a good drink for those that like to play mixologist at home or when entertaining friends. It’s simple yet complex blending all the sweetness of Soju with the refreshing flavors of ginger, basil and strawberry.

Total Servings: One cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • Boston Shaker
  • Cocktail Muddler (a pestle or spoon will do)
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Tall Glass
  • Drinking Straw

Ingredients

  • 1 inch piece of Ginger (fresh, peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 4 Strawberries (fresh, small, hulled and sliced)
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 tsp Cane Sugar (organic, GMO free, pure and granulated)
  • 4 to 5 Basil Leaves (fresh only)
  • 2 oz or ¼ Cup Soju (you can use Strawberry flavored Soju for this)
  • 1 oz or 2 Tbsp Water (optional)
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Chop up the Ginger and Strawberries (reserve one slice for garnish).
  2. Place the Ginger, Strawberries, Salt and Pure Cane Sugar into the Boston shaker.
  3. Use the cocktail muddler to mash everything until the Ginger releases its aromatics, ensuring you completely mash the Strawberries.
  4. Incorporate the Basil Leaves and continue to mash this with your muddler until you smell the Basil release its aromatics.
  5. Then pour in the Soju, ice and water (if using).
  6. Cover the Boston shaker securely and shake for 30 seconds or until the outside of the shaker is freezing cold to the touch. Carefully open the shaker.
  7. Fill your tall glass with ice and strain the contents of the Boston Shaker.
  8. Garnish with a sprig of basil and strawberry slice.
  9. Serve with a drinking straw and sip slowly.

9. Sangria Soju

Even though this offers a twist on the traditional Spanish wine drink, Sangria, this is Korea’s take using Soju. It’s a more modern favorite, but Koreans love this! You can use whatever stone fruit you like, but make sure they are very ripe and on the verge of going bad.

Total Servings: 32 oz or eight cocktails

Items You’ll Need

  • Large Bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • (2) Quart-Sized Mason Jars
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Large Pitcher
  • (8) Highball Glasses

Ingredients

  • 4 Plums (ripened, pitted and cut into ½ inch chunks)
  • 3 Peaches (ripened, pitted and cut into ½ inch chunks)
  • ½ lb Strawberries (hulled and cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 2 bottles of Soju (375 ml each suggested type is Jinro 24 or a Soju that’s over 20% ABV)
  • 4 Cups Sparkling Rosé Wine
  • 2 Cups Sparkling Mineral Water (like Orangina or San Pellegrino)

Instructions

  1. Chop the fruit and blend them together in a large bowl. Then, divide into two equal parts.
  2. In each quart-sized Mason jar, put in the fruit.
  3. Pour in one bottle of Soju over the fruit in each jar.
  4. Cover so that the jar is airtight and put it into the refrigerator.
  5. Allow this to infuse for a full 48 hours (or two days). You can do this for longer if you wish.
  6. When fully infused, pour the fruit along with the Soju into a large pitcher.
  7. Then add the Sparkling Mineral water and Sparkling Rosé Wine. Stir well.
  8. Fill eight highball glasses with ice and pour in the Sangria.

10. Korean Screwdriver

This is a basic variation on the American classic screwdriver. But, instead of Vodka, this uses Soju. It’s simple, easy and very palatable.

Total Servings: One Cocktail

Items You’ll Need

  • Highball Glass
  • 1 oz Shot Glass (for measuring)

Ingredients

  • 1½ oz Soju (you can use Soju flavored with Orange or Mandarin)
  • 2 oz Orange Juice
  • Ice
  • Orange Slices (for garnish – optional)

Instructions

  1. Make sure everything is chilly cold before you make the drink, this includes the glass.
  2. Fill the highball glass with ice and pour in the Soju.
  3. Then, pour the Orange Juice over that.
  4. Lightly stir and garnish with an orange slice.

11. Fizzy Pineapple Soju

Light, quick and easy, anyone can make this delicious cocktail at home. It’s simple in concept but provides a complex burst of flavor backed by the power of Soju.

Items You’ll Need

  • Tall Glass
  • 1 oz Shot Glass (for measuring)
  • Drinking Straw

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Soju (it’s advisable to us Good Day Pineapple Soju, but plain or other pineapple flavor will do)
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1½ oz Lemon-Lime Soda (such as Sprite or 7Up)
  • Ice
  • Pineapple Pieces (for garnish – optional)

Instructions

  1. Fill the tall glass ¾ of the way with ice.
  2. Pour in the Soju and then the Pineapple Juice.
  3. Top it off with the Lemon-Lime Soda.
  4. Add the Pineapple Pieces for a garnish and sip gently through a drinking straw.

Conclusion

While this is a thorough list of the kinds of cocktails you can make with Soju, it is by no means exhaustive. This is a simple overview to get newcomers’ feet wet to the spirit. There is a whole world of recipes out there that are fantastic, curious and delicious in their own right.

About The Author

Photo of author

Jason Park

Jason has been living in Seoul over 4 years and during that time, he has experienced a lot of the city's quirks and charms. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others who are interested in learning more about South Korea.

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