Alcohol

Alcohol is quite popular in Korea.  According to the latest statistics, Koreans consume more of it per capita than almost anywhere else in the world–more than Americans, even more than famous drinkers the Irish and Portuguese.  Here are a few of the most popular:

소주 Soju (15%-25% abv)

With a taste similar to vodka but with less burn, Soju is often known as the Korean version of Sake.  It may not be the most delicious beverage around but at 1,000W per bottle in grocery and convenience stores (3.000W per bottle in restaurants), it’s a good bang for your buck.  Soju is almost always consumed in shots.

맥주 Beer (5% abv)

Beer is really popular in Korea.  Domestic beers (Cass, Hite, Max being the most popular) are your cheapest options, smooth if a bit watery.  If you’re picky about your beers and are willing to pay a bit more, try imports or premium domestic beers.

막걸리 Makgeolli (6-9% abv)

Often translated as ‘Korean Rice-Wine’, makgeolli tastes more like a cross between hard-cider and cream soda.  It’s pretty delicious, and about as cheap as soju.  Traditionally, it was reserved only for the lowest rungs of Korean society, but now it’s making a comeback among the rich and poor alike.  The only downside is its reputation for causing hangovers.  Makgeolli is often consumed in bowls.

청하 Cheongha (10-13% abv)

A milder version of soju, similar to sake.

복분자 Black-Raspberry Wine (6-15% ABV)

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