Watermelon And Soju Is The Cocktail Collab You Need To Taste

With its sweet taste and hydrating properties, watermelon is an excellent choice for pairing with liquor in cocktail crafting. It pairs nicely with tequila for a melon-infused margarita, gin for a fruity martini, and rum for a pink piña colada. You can even blend it with vodka to create Ina Garten's watermelon cosmo. For a unique party drink, however, consider serving subak soju, a delightful cocktail that combines pureed watermelon with Korea's national drink, soju.

Originally, soju was produced by fermenting rice, but it can also be made from grains like wheat or barley, or from other sources such as yams, cassava, or sugar beets. Consequently, its flavor profile can vary, though it's sometimes compared to vodka due to its clear color and relatively neutral taste.

One advantage of using soju over other spirits is the possibility of creating a lower-proof cocktail. Many soju brands have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 20%, though this is not universal. Furthermore, the presentation is ideal for parties. To prepare it, simply slice off the top of a watermelon, scoop out and puree the flesh, then mix it with soju and serve it back in the watermelon shell, over ice, punch-style with a ladle. Although it can also be served in glasses, using smaller watermelons for individual or shared servings adds a fun twist. Some variations even include lemon-lime soda, adding a bubbly, citrusy dimension to the flavor.

More details on soju

If you were under the impression that a spirit like vodka, whiskey, or rum would top the list of the world's top-selling liquors, you might be surprised to learn that soju claims that title. Remarkably, the Jinro brand alone sold over 100 million cases in 2022.

The easy drinkability of soju is often cited as a key factor in its widespread popularity. Its lower ABV means it doesn't have the burning sensation associated with higher-proof spirits when consumed on its own. This smoothness also makes it an ideal ingredient in cocktails, allowing the flavors of other components to shine.

Moreover, soju is deeply rooted in tradition. Drinking the spirit socially, whether at home or during post-work gatherings, is commonplace, and there are established etiquette rules around its consumption. These range from the youngest at the table serving others to the practice of using both hands when passing the bottle to and from older members at the table.

How else to drink soju

While soju is often consumed neat or on the rocks, similar to other spirits, it can also be enjoyed in various other forms, such as the popular subak soju found in Korean bars and restaurants. If you're not a fan of watermelon, it also pairs well with other freshly pureed fruits or juices. A creamy mixed drink option involves combining soju with the probiotic beverage Yakult. Additionally, some enhance the alcohol content of their beer by adding a few shots of soju.

Soju can also be a versatile substitute for other liquors. Try a soju and soda with anything from lemon-lime flavored soda to classic Coca-Cola or Pepsi. You can even replace vodka with soju in a bloody mary. Moreover, just like other spirits, you can infuse soju with various flavors. While DIY infusions are an option, there are also brands that offer pre-flavored soju. In essence, this adaptable Korean spirit is as enjoyable on its own as it is in mixed drinks, similar to how you would use any neutral spirit.