How to Politely Drink Soju in Korea

Soju is an alcoholic drink beloved by many Koreans. According to Statistics Korea, approximately 3.6 billion bottles of Soju were sold in a year.

Here are some etiquettes that are good to know before drinking soju with the elders or seniors in Korea.

Confucianism, a belief that focuses on the importance of personal ethics and morality, is deeply rooted in Korean culture. This belief has influenced Koreans’ drinking culture as well.

1. When pouring a drink, use your dominant hand to hold a bottle. Put the other hand on the wrist or the bottom of a bottle.

You are basically using both bands

2. When receiving a drink, take it with both bands.

3. Turn your head to the side and drink it while covering the glass with your hand.

4. It’s better to position your glass lower than an older person’s.

A position of the glasses can reflect the hierarchy of people.

5. Don’t pour your own drink. 

“Giving and receiving” is a part of Korea’s drinking culture.

Why are there so many drinking-related manners?

There’s a Korean saying, “You have to learn how to drink alcohol from adults.” Hundreds of years ago, our ancestors were taught not to be drunk and disgraceful by learning the etiquettes of drinking.

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