What does Soju Taste Like?

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If you’re an avid follower of K-dramas, you must have noticed the characters drinking out of the green-tinted glass bottles! It’s nothing but soju. I am sure that these scenes must have made you wonder what does soju taste like?

Soju is an alcoholic beverage made from starch like rice, barley, and sweet potatoes. Soju has a neutral and mild flavor, similar to vodka in terms of taste and appearance. However, since it’s available in endless flavors, you get to enjoy this liquor in sweet and fruity flavors!

If you’re super intrigued by this drink, keep reading this post to learn more about soju, its taste, flavors, and much more!

What Does Soju Taste Like?

The taste of soju is on the sweeter side, with a mild flavor that’s often described as butter-like. In addition, it has a light and fruity flavor that keeps you feeling refreshed. Soju can have a bitter aftertaste when it’s not mixed with any other drink. But, when mixed with sodas, juice, and other flavorings, the bitterness disappears and what you get are arguably the best-tasting cocktails!

This popular Korean beverage tastes incredibly delicious. Available in a wide array of flavors, soju is the perfect choice of alcohol for beginners and light drinkers! These options are quite flavorsome, especially for casual soju drinkers who like drinking it as a fruit juice or soda. Keep reading to learn about the types of flavored soju, especially if you’re interested in trying fruity alcoholic beverages.

Although it’s slightly dry, it tastes flavorful and perfectly complements snacks and starters. Soju’s sweet and neutral taste usually tastes best when ice-cold or watered down.

Soju tastes similar to vodka but with a lighter and sweeter flavor. The sweeter taste is partly because of lower alcohol content. While vodka contains a strength of up to 40%, soju’s alcoholic content is around 20% ABV. That explains why it doesn’t burn down the throat as vodka does. Furthermore, soju is more watery than other liquors in terms of consistency.

Many people compare soju to sake because of their similar flavor profiles. If you don’t know what sake is, it’s a traditional Japanese wine made from rice. The primary similarity between the two beverages is their main ingredient! Therefore, sake’s flavor isn’t too far from that of soju. Despite the similarities, you’ll still notice that soju is a little sweeter than sake and doesn’t taste as dry. Besides sake, soju is also compared to rubbing alcohol because of its intensely bitter fragrance that leaves a slight burn when inhaled.

Nonetheless, most people love soju for its light taste, which varies from slightly dry to pretty sweet. At first sip, there may be a hint of bitterness, typical with alcoholic beverages. But, the clean flavor keeps you feeling refreshed. Moreover, soju doesn’t leave behind a bitter taste in the mouth, familiar with liquors like whiskey or vodka. That’s because it is distilled using rice, tapioca, or yeast. It may also be mixed with flavorings, acidity regulators, and stabilizers to enhance the flavor. These add a smoother and sweeter taste to the finished product.

Indeed in many ways, soju is far better than other expensive liquors you buy. It has a light and pleasant taste that tastes fantastic when mixed into cocktails. Naturally, soju is best drunk neat; however, if your tastebuds are averse to intense flavors, you can try out the flavored variants for a better experience. 

What Is The Best Flavor For Soju?

The most popular Soju flavors are green grape, apple, grapefruit, blueberry, strawberry, peach, pineapple, apricot, and lemon-lime! Most people enjoy the fruity line of flavors due to their distinctively sweet taste.

One particular flavor that is quite a hit among soju fans is peach. It has a deliciously juicy and sweet taste that subdues the slightly bitter alcoholic kick.

Another iconic flavor is the strawberry soju, for its sweet and tart flavor. It’s the perfect choice for when you have Korean party food. The drink offers a refreshing taste that perfectly balances its berry sweetness and bitter kick.

Lastly, we can’t go without mentioning yogurt soju, a strange yet delicious combination that’s been quite the rage! The cocktail combines soju with cultured milk, such as Yakult, for a sweet, fruity, and refreshingly flavored drink. You can read how Soju with Yakult tastes here.

Is Soju Sweet or Bitter?

Soju has both sweet and bitter flavor notes. On its own, some people may find it slightly bitter; but when mixed with other drinks, the bitterness often gets masked. So what you get is a light, fruity, and sweet cocktail!

Nonetheless, compared to other spirits, soju’s flavor is sweeter; it tastes clean on the palate. Since it’s made using rice, sweet potatoes, and other starches, soju has a generally sweet flavor that’s best described as malty or buttery!

Many people compare soju to sweetened vodka because of its neutral flavor. Since it doesn’t have the same alcoholic content as vodka, it doesn’t burn down the throat. However, as mentioned above, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste that may be unpleasant to some. 

Can You Taste Alcohol in Soju?

The taste of soju is relatively cleaner than other alcoholic beverages. It has a mild flavor and neutral color that’s often compared to vodka. But, it’s less harsh than vodka in taste and doesn’t come close to tasting like liquor, especially when mixed into cocktails and other drinks.

Moreover, compared to vodka, soju tastes light, sweet, and slightly fruity. It’s not as aggressive as vodka or other alcoholic beverages. That’s why most new drinkers love downing this beverage! On its own, neat soju has a faint kick on the throat, leaving the mouth tasting sweet and mostly refreshed, with a bitter flavor underneath.

You should note that authentic soju has a much more intense yet sweet flavor. 

Does Soju Actually Taste Like Juice?

Flavored soju tastes like alcoholic fruit juice due to its sweet and citrusy flavor notes. While standard soju is quite enjoyable, having the freedom to choose from a plethora of flavors that have a fruity twist takes the experience up a notch!

You get to choose from flavors like apple, green grape, blueberry, strawberry, peach, and grapefruit, all of which taste super fruity and amazing. These variants taste nothing less than fruit juice mixed with liquor. If you’re into fruity cocktails, you wouldn’t want to get drunk off any alcoholic beverage but soju.

While standard soju tastes like diluted vodka, the flavored version, on the other hand, tastes the same as juice! Although some flavors are quite juice-like, you may notice others tasting closer to sake or white wine.


Now that you know soju is popular Korean liquor, famous for its mild, sweet flavor and fruity aftertaste, it’s a drink you must try.

The drink gained the spotlight for its unique taste that’s likened to vodka and sake! It’s an excellent choice of alcohol for mixed drinks and cocktails! You can customize the flavor by adding different flavors to enjoy a delicious drink after a long and stressful day.

Soju’s neutral flavor makes it an excellent drink for those new to alcohol. One of the best aspects of it is the reasonable price, compared to other beverages, so it doesn’t break the bank! However, it contains plenty of calories, so you should only consume it in moderate amounts!

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