Soju, traditional alcohol in Korea, has won the heart of the world. It is also commonly drunk in China and Japan. Although Vodka and Wine are most common in the USA, people are heading to diverse drinks now. So soju is available now in almost every liquor shop and bar.
Soju has low alcohol content- 10-20%. So why it is so tough to get soju in the USA grocery stores? It is simply because many people aren’t familiar with this clear drink.
You can find soju in grocery stores, restaurants, and online stores that specialize in Korean food/ Asian culture. Your local Asian sellers can also know the whereabouts of soju.
|West 32 original soju||Refreshing and mild||$27|
|Jinro Chamisul Fresh||Lesser aroma and lightweight||$10|
|Chum Churum||Strong scent and taste||$10|
|Saan soju||Higher percentage of alcohol 21%||$6|
|Andong soju||Traditionally made||$15|
What to look for before buying soju?
Traditionally, soju was made from rice. But now rice isn’t used in making alcohol. Rather, alternatives of rice such as potato or starch powder are used to make soju. There are also three different forms of soju.
You can try the distilled soju, which is made from the direct distillation process of starch. This has around 17-25% of alcohol. Korean people serve it with food.
Although soju is drunk straight from the bottle, a diluted one is great for a family- friends gathering.
This is not a traditional way of drinking soju. But it has only 15-20% alcohol content, which is mild. You won’t get drunk even after drinking for a long time.
Another way is cocktail. This is soju infused with fruit juice.
Also, look for the expiry date. Soju can last for two years after making.
Soju is high in sugar than other alcohols. So patients with high blood sugar and diabetes shouldn’t go over one shot.
What aisle is soju in?
Like other liquors, you will find soju in the alcohol aisle of grocery stores. Go to the flavored and specialty beverage section to find soju.
You can also check the international aisle. If there is any special section for Korean/ Japanese/ Chinese foods and drinks, look carefully to find soju.
The alcohol aisle can also be named under the beer, wine, and liquor aisle.
If you are in a Korean supermarket/ store, check the beverage aisle. Soju is so common and popular in Korean culture that you may even find it in the beverage aisle.
Where to buy soju?
Instacart has the most popular brand of soju- Jinro. The Jinro brand is drunk all over Korea. You can try the following available in Instacart-
Jinro Original Chamisul Soju (375 ml), which is pretty much aromaless. This is very mild.
Saan Soju (375 ml) is made from sweet potatoes. It has a VERY strong smell. A review said it kind of smelled like formaldehyde.
Chum Churum Peach Soju has a sweeter taste. It is a lot stronger than the Chamisul one.
Chamsun Soju on their website.
Kroger has Aka Kirishima Soju, 750 mL in the store.
Safeway also keeps soju on its website. Chum Churum Peach Soju and
American Soju, which is made in the USA.
HMart is a Korean-American grocery store. So soju is available here in the alcohol/wine aisle. You can try 17% Jinro Chamisul Soju.
The following stores I mentioned are online stores but have a good reputation for selling soju-
Drizly is an online store that sells all kinds of liquor. And all types of soju.
Famous brand Jinro is here with its all flavor. From grape, grapefruit to blueberry and green apple.
They also have Chum Churum brands soju on their website.
Hudson Wine Market
They also have a physical store in 1638 Schlosser St. Fort Lee, NJ 07024. But if you live far from the address you can buy online. They sell Jinro and Chum Churum soju. They also have Hwayo and Yobo soju available.
West32 soju is a well-known online store. They make traditional soju. Many people have bought soju from them and given good reviews.
Tipxy is another store that has a good variety of soju.
As you can see, soju isn’t available in Walmart and Amazon. This is unfortunate. But it is understandable because it’s Korean alcohol and you cant find it in regular stores. Any Korean restaurant near you will serve soju if asked.