A spicy Soju Cocktail is the perfect Korean inspired boozy drink to serve to kimchi fans.
Shake together this simple Korean cocktail featuring gin, soju, sweet red vermouth, fresh lime juice, and kimchi brine. Rim the glass with gochugaru and garnish with a kimchi skewer. It’s an eye-popping drink to serve to K Pop fans!
We love serving this spicy kimchi drink whenever we eat Korean dishes at home like bulgogi, kalbi and bibimbap. It’s the perfect pairing!
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What Is A Korean Kimchi Cocktail?
Are you a craft cocktail lover looking to mix, muddle or shake a Korean cocktail at home?
This well balanced drink features some of our favourite Korean food products like soju, kimchi and gochugaru.
The Soju Cocktail is shaken with premium gin, sweet red vermouth, freshly squeezed lime juice and the kimchi brine found at the bottom of the jar.
This is the perfect kimchi drink to serve at a Korean dinner or K-drama inspired party with friends and family.
What Is Soju?
A Korean cocktail must include soju, Korea’s most beloved spirit!
Soju is a clear and colourless Korean distilled alcoholic beverage. While soju is traditionally made from the grains of rice, wheat, or barley, modern producers often replace rice with other starches, such as potato and sweet potato. Soju is often sold in liquor stores beside other East Asian liquors like Japanese sake.
Whether it’s made with sweet potatoes, rice or another starch, all soju is on the sweeter side. This doesn’t mean it tastes super sweet, it is still considered a neutral spirit and often described as “Korean vodka.” The sweetness is subtle and it’s usually described as buttery or malty.
At 24% alcohol by volume, soju is stronger than beer (4% to 5%) or wine (about 13%) but packs a weaker punch than virtually all vodkas, which are 40% alcohol.
Since Soju has a weaker alcohol content we boost the beverage with the flavours of botanical gin and sweet red vermouth.
Travel to Korea by Making a Soju Cocktail at Home
I love traveling to Asia.
My first visit had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Macau and the Maldives.
During my time in Korea I enjoyed many soju sips at restaurants in Seoul, Suwon, Busan, Samcheok, Jeju and even the North Korean DMZ.
We suggest making this boozy Soju Cocktail whenever you’re hosting a Korean dinner party at home. The spicy drink is a perfect pairing for a traditional barbecue feast or a steaming bowl of bulgogi.
Spicy Korean Cocktail Recipe Ingredients
Our spicy Soju Cocktail is easy to make in just minutes!
- Gin: we suggest using Aviation, Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. The gin adds a botanical undertone to the drink.
- Soju: we prefer brands like Chum Churum, Jinfro Chamisul, and CHarm Soju.
- Sweet Vermouth: use a classic Martini Rosso which adds a red colour to the drink and hints of spice.
- Kimchi: this kimchi drink incorporates the brine (liquid) found in the jar and the glass is garnished with the crunchy fermented cabbage.
- Lime Juice: only use freshly squeezed!
- Gochugaru: Korean Red Pepper Flakes rolled on the rim of a cocktail glass make for a beautiful decoration similar to the salt used in a margarita.
Kimchi Soju Cocktail Recipe Tips
This spicy soju cocktail recipe is easy to make at home, ready to serve in under 10 minutes!
We love serving this Korean Cocktail whenever we’re serving bibimbap or bulgogi for dinner.
We’ve used gin in this recipe as the botanicals offer a lovely flavour profile but you can substitute for vodka if you prefer.
We’ve used lime juice in this recipe but you can substitue for freshly squeezed lemon juice if you prefer.
This Kimchi drink recipe serves one person. If you’re hosting a large gathering feel free to multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and muddle the drink in a punch bowl or jug.
Best Bartender Tools & Cocktail Equipment
Before hosting a Korean cocktail party you’ll need to ensure you have the best bartender tools and cocktail equipment.
- Cocktail Kit: cocktail kits are the perfect gift for newbie mixology fans as they include basic bartender tools like a jigger, shaker and spoon.
- Cocktail Shaker: a bartender’s best friend. Purchase a premium cocktail shaker to muddle or shake up your favourite pink gin cocktails.
- Cocktail Glassware: make sure your bar is stocked with a selection of unique glassware to show off your favourite cocktail creations.
- Hawthorne Strainer: this unique strainer features tightly wound coils and perforated holes. It keeps ice and other large ingredients like lime wedges in your cocktail shaker rather than in the glass.
- Bar Spoons: slender and long bar spoons are a must-have when stirring drinks.
- Bottle Opener: easily open bottles of beer or cider with the flick of your wrist or purchase a corkscrew for fine wine.
- Pouring Spout: once you’ve opened a new bottle of gin insert these affordable pourers to make cocktail assembly a breeze.
- Cutting Board: purchase a petite cutting board for your bar to slice garnishes or citrus wedges like lime, orange, lemon or grapefruit.
- Ice Bucket: chill bottles of gin quickly in an ice bucket or keep by the bar when muddling gin mixers into cool creations.
- Ice Crusher: fans of the Mint Julep love an ice crusher.
- Ice Cube Kit: we suggest purchasing a selection of ice cube trays. Silicone styles are our favourite as they’re easy to clean and are available in various shapes and sizes.
- Jigger: use a jigger to accurately measure spirits, juices, syrups and shrubs.
- Juicer: invest in an electronic juicer or buy an affordable hand-held to easily juice fresh citrus like lemons and limes.
- Muddler: fans of the Mojito love a sturdy muddler to mix mint and lime. Muddler’s are handy for any cocktail featuring ingredients that need a pounding like fresh herbs or citrus wedges.
- Citrus Peeler & Zester: adorn your craft cocktails with a thick citrus peel or finer ribbons of lime or lemon zest.
- Rimmer: Bloody Mary and Caesar lovers should outfit their bar with a handy rimmer for salting and sugaring glassware.
You May Also Enjoy These Korean Recipes…
- Easy Homemade Korean Strawberry Milk
- Oven Roasted Korean Gochujang Pulled Pork Shoulder
- Korean Breakfast Recipe Gochujang Baked Eggs & Potato
- Korean Beef Bulgogi Noodles
- Sangchu Geotjeori Sweet and Sour Korean Lettuce Salad
- Crispy Vegan Pan Fried Korean Tofu
- Buchimgae Buchu-Jeon Korean Chive Pancake
- Spicy Gukbap Korean Rice & Beef Soup
- Spicy Pork Bibimbap
- Baked Korean Gochujang Chicken Wings
- Peanut and Sesame Noodle Bowl with Korean BBQ Pork and Pickles
- Korean Ssamjang Chicken Kimchi Nachos
How To Make A Spicy Korean Kimchi Soju Cocktail Recipe
Korean Kimchi Cocktail
- 2 oz Gin
- 2 oz Soju
- 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
- 1 tbsp Kimchi Brine
- 0.5 oz Lime Juice
- 1 tbsp Kimchi garnish
- Gochugaru Korean Red Pepper Flakes rim
- Wet the rim of a cocktail glass with a lime wedge. Invert the glass into gochugaru to rim the glass. Fill glass with ice.
- Combine the gin, soju, sweet red vermouth, lime juice and kimchi brine in a shaker half-filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into an ice filled glass. Garnish with a kimchi skewer.
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