Guide To Drinking JINRO Soju 101

Guide to Drink JINRO Soju

Published on January 30th, 2023

It’s a start of a new year and what better way to start off than JINRO soju? Some might be questioning how does Koreans drink soju? Do you drink soju straight? Well, JINRO soju can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, but the most traditional way to drink it is neat. if you follow the steps below, you will be the master of drinking soju.


Step 1: Opening the Bottle

Start with a perfectly chilled bottle of JINRO soju cold and neat for the best flavor.

1. Swirl The Bottle Around To Create A Whirlpool Inside?

First, hold the JINRO soju bottle near the bottom in one hand and swirl it in a circular motion to create a whirlpool inside. This will help to distribute sediment.

2. Slap The Bottom And Remove The Cap

Next, hold the JINRO bottle’s neck and use the other hand to firmly slap the end of the bottle. After a few slaps, remove the cap.

3. Jab The Neck Of The Bottle

Finally, hold the lower part of the JINRO bottle and jab the neck of the bottle between your index and middle fingers. This should be done with enough force to make a little bit of the soju splash out of the bottle.

Each of these steps was designed to mix the sediment inside the bottle. While modern soju has no sediment, Koreans still keep the tradition alive, especially adding intention to the drink through the ritual and also using it as a welcoming space.


Step 2: Pouring JINRO soju

Once the JINRO soju bottle is opened, you’ll want to follow these steps that makes up soju pouring tradition in Korea.

1. The Oldest Person Pours The First Shot

This step is to show respect. The oldest person will pour a shot into each group member’s glass. Once the eldest in the group served everyone else, someone else in the group will pour a shot for the server.

2. Use Both Hands When Pouring And Receiving Your Drink

Using both hands to hold the JINRO soju bottle and glass is also another sign of respect in Korean traditional drinking. This is particularly important when serving your elders. If you’re pouring the shots, do not fill your own glass. You may want to bow your head while pouring as well. The one that receives the drink should raise their cups in the air with both hands, making it easier for the server to pour you the drink.


Step 3. Turn Your Head To Avoid Eye Contact While Drinking

Be sure to hold the glass with both hands and avoiding eye contact while drinking. Turning your head away from others is to avoid flashing your teeth which can be seen disrespectful in traditional Korean culture. Normally, the first round of drinks should be taken as a shot, not sipped.


Step 4. Offer To Fill Empty Glass As Needed

In Korea tradition, no glass should sit empty, and no one should drink alone. If you notice someone’s glass is empty, ask if they would like another drink. After the first round of drinks, you can always choose whether you want more.

Many people choose to shoot them each time, but this isn’t required. You can choose to sip.

Step 5. Make Sure No One Drinks Alone

No one should drink alone in Korean tradition. If someone offer to pours you a drink, you should always accept. In addition, if you pour another shot for someone, they should pour one for you as well. When drinking with friends, it is common to pour the JINRO soju in the shot glass and drink it all at once. Koreans clink the shot glasses and say ‘Geonbae’ or ‘Jjan’ which means cheers and drink up!


Well, once you’ve mastered drinking JINRO soju, you can always try out these drinking games to blend in or break the ice to keep the flow going. Try simple drinking games like “Flick the cap” or “Titanic”. These drinking games required a short amount of time, and you can play a few rounds to keep energy whole night up.

For more understanding on how Korea drinking games work, you can check here. You can enjoy all kinds of drinking games with JINRO on any occasion of the year.

Remember that you should never fill your own glass and should always use two hands. Even though it’s not necessary to enjoy drinking soju in this way, it’s always fun to explore a new culture and enjoy drinking JINRO soju.


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