The World's Most Popular Liquor Is...
... soju, a Korean spirit that Psy calls his 'best friend'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2013 7:59 AM CST
A bottle of soju.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Vodka and tequila, head to the back of the bar. The world's most popular liquor is a South Korean spirit called soju, which has topped a best-selling-drink list for years and sold 65 million cases on this year's list alone, the Guardian reports. It's made from barley, wheat, or rice—or other starches like potatoes or tapioca—and is loved partly because its alcohol content often hovers around 25% ... perfect for a few refills without passing out. Bars from London to New York to San Francisco are hawking soju drinks, often with sweet fruit flavors to make them go down easy.

Traditionalists can enjoy it with Korean foods like the fish-and-rice cake tteokpokki or salted shrimp. "Soju is often drunk with jokbal, which is pork trotter cooked in a seasoned, well-flavored broth," says a Korean chef. "It also goes well with bossam—steamed pork wrapped in a red lettuce leaf with garlic, peppers and kimchi." And beer-lovers can get into somac—ways of mixing beer with soju, like covering your blend with a tissue before slapping and swirling it into a "Hurricane." Koreans like to hurl the wet napkin at the ceiling to see if it sticks! For more on soju, check out a Psy video that helped make it popular.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Dec 8, 2013 11:54 AM CST
If you dig around the linked site and finally find the article this was loosely based on, you would find that it is the most popular specific spirit. Jinro Soju sells 65M cases per year. Other top specific brands (Smirnoff, Bacardi, Johnny Walker) only sell 20-30M cases per year. If lumped together by type instead of specific brand Soju would not be #1. It clearly does not include beer as 65M cases of coors are sold in Wisconsin alone (joke?). The site also says Soju is not widely known and most of is made and consumed in South Korea.
Dec 8, 2013 10:38 AM CST
I am still drinking Canada Dry and every time I get to the bottom of it a new case arrives !! Tequila !!
Dec 8, 2013 12:54 AM CST
If it's a spirit, it must join mine. That's right Vodka, I will be cheating on you.