Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gojingamrae (고진감래): Revolutionary Drinking System from Korea

If you've every visited Korea or have any Korean friends then you are probably already very familiar with a  drink called "Soju". 

If you've been unfortunate enough to have never encountered Soju in the past then here is a brief summation:

  • Soju is clear in colour and typically varies in alcohol content from about 16.7% to about 45% alcohol.
  • It is traditionally made from rice although many modern producers supplement or even replace rice with other starches, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.
  • Its taste is comparable to vodka, though often slightly sweeter
  • It is widely consumed, in part, because of its relatively low price in Korea (a 300mL bottle of soju costs 1,000 to 3,000 South Korean Won in South Korea (roughly $1 to $3 USD).  
  • It is estimated that the average adult Korean (older than 20) consumes 90 bottles of soju per year. 

Soju is most often drank neat but it is not always consumed in unmixed form (and this is where the fun begins). Soju and beer are commonly mixed to form a drink called somaek, a portmanteau of the words soju and maekju (맥주 beer).

Gojingamrae (고진감래) is a different breed of drink.  It combines Beer, Soju and Cola in a delicious, Soju-purist's nightmare. 
The drink is constructed using 2 shot glasses and one small (33cl) beer glass. The first shot glass is filled about 2/3rd's the way with cola ad placed in the bottom of the beer glass.  Next, the second shot glass is placed on-top-of/in  the first shooter and filled to the top with soju.  Finally the remaining space in the beer glass is filled with beer to just below the rim of the top shooter.

The drink is consumed all at once creating a mixture of beer and soju in the consumers mouth followed by a blast of refreshing cola.

This is a great drink to have while in Korea but why should the fun end with this classic combination.

Why not try a Tequila sunrise gojingamrae (grenedine in the bottom, tequila in the top shooter and orange juice surroundins) or maybe an Irish Car-bomb Gojingamrae (Bailey's on the bottom, Jameson Whiskey on the top and Guiness surrounding).  The possibilities are endless!

Ganbei! (cheers!)
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