HiteJinro is the world’s leading producer of soju. This alcohol is of Korean origin and is traditionally made from rice, wheat, or barley. Koreans began to make this distilled beverage when the Mongols brought the technology during their invasions in the 13th century. Through the intervening centuries, this style of alcohol became ingrained in their culture. This particular distillery was established in 1924 and worked its way to the number one producer of soju.
This particular style is the Jinro Is Back Soju that is intended to be milder than the original style Chamisul Soju. It is intended to be a smoother flavor with a hint of alcohol. Traditionally soju is consumed straight with a meal. The youngest person of the group will pour drinks for elders. This behavior also extends to hierarchical groups such as companies and teams, where the most junior member will do the pouring. The pourer will use both hands to pour as the receiver will hold their glass with both hands.
The aroma of this spirit is that of a clear vodka-like drink. Although at 16.9% alcohol by volume it is subdued by dilution. This particular soju should have a very little aroma as it is a neutral spirit.
As to its flavor, it is pleasant and clear. The distillation is clean with no other flavors. As it is a much lower alcohol content than a similar spirit such as vodka it is very drinkable.
Would I recommend this alcohol? Sure! It does what it intends to do as a low alcohol neutral spirit. It can be used as vodka in cocktails or drank straight. Otherwise, this particular soju is very unremarkable and would not be noticed if it was used to replace vodka in a cocktail.
To demonstrate the utility of this alcohol I have crafted three cocktails named after the Korean Netflix sci-fi movie Space Sweepers. If you have not seen the film you owe yourself this film.
Black Fox Martini
- 1.00 oz Soju
- 1.00 oz Apple Juice
- 1.00 oz Soda Water
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
Pint Glass and Shot Glass
- 6.00 oz Lager or Pale Ale
- 1.50 oz Soju
A traditional variation of a boilermaker. Fill a shot glass with soju and add the beer to a pint glass. Drop the shot into the pint before consuming.
- 2.00 oz Soju
- 1.00 oz Gatorade
- 1.00 oz Red Bull
Add ingredients to an old-fashioned glass with ice.