Soju, the national alcholic beverage of South Korea, is now the most widely imbibed booze in the world:
“In a country with the world’s highest per capita alcohol consumption (hey, it can’t be easy living next door to North Korea), soju takes a whopping 97% of the spirits market. But this is a drink embedded in Korean culture since the 14th century, when Mongol invaders taught the locals how to distill, with fermented rice as the traditional starter. Today, the final spirit ranges in strength from 45% ABV to more common varieties that hit your glass ataround 25% ABV.
As with most spirits there’s good stuff and bad stuff about – the latter being low-grade muck made from sweet potatoes and tapioca rather than artfully distilled fermented rice. Look for respected brands such as Chamisul or the delightfully named Chum-Churum. If you’re in Korea, search out Andong – a 45% ABV beauty so highly regarded it has been officially designated as Korea’s Intangible Cultural Assets No 12.”
I’m not surprised that soju has become so popular globally, but number one? I’d have guessed beer would still have to win world-wide.
But it’s nice to know I’ve been doing my own part of support Hallyu, or the South Korean cultural wave.
Update: Once again, I’m an idiot. “Spirits” doesn’t seem to include beer, as I suspected, but liquor and wine only. Stupid British English.