Soju

From Academic Kids

Template:Koreanname noimage Soju is an alcoholic beverage with origins in Korea. The main ingredient is rice, almost always in combination with other ingredients such as wheat, barley, or sweet potatoes. Soju is clear-colored and typically varies in alcohol content from about 40 to about 90 proof. It was first known to have been distilled around 1300 A.D.

The Japanese version of soju is shochu. Soju is sometimes mistakingly referred to as rice wine, a term normally used for cheongju, the Korean equivalent of sake.

In 1965, in order to alleviate rice shortages, the Korean government prohibited the production of distilled soju. Since then, soju has been made primarily through dilution by mixing pure ethanol with water and flavoring. The vast majority of inexpensive soju available today is produced in this manner. The Korean government regulates the alcohol content of diluted soju to less than 35%.

Because of its ready availability and its low price relative to other alcoholic beverages, soju has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Korea, although other drinks such as beer, whiskey, and wine have been gaining popularity in recent years.

Along with the mass-produced brands, which are widely available in Korea, there are several regions which are famous for making soju in a more traditional way, with the soju made in Andong being the most famous.

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