With Smirnoff being the self-declared Kings of Vodka and Ginro Soju being the best selling liquor brand in the world, it was only a matter of time before the big kahunas went head to head. And it would appear that the time is now, with Smirnoff Soju now hitting the shelves like a sledgehammer.
What is Soju?
If you have gotten this far without knowing what Soju is then a for one pity you, for you are missing out. Soju is the national liquor of both north and south Korea.
Often erroneously called a rice wine, it is anything but usually being made with wheat and the like. It tends to have a smooth taste and be between 15-20%, which is why many (me) refer to it as a creeper – meaning you do not realize it is making you drunk.
As stated Ginro Soju is the best selling liquor brand in the world, quite the achievement when most of it is sold in one country and that the country in question is split in two…….
Click the link to see why you should drink soju.
Gangnam Style, K-Pop and Soju
What does Gangnam Style, K-Pop and Soju all have in common? Quite simply that they represent the resurgence of and importance of Korean culture around the world, or so called Korean soft power.
Ten years ago Korean food was considered a word delicacy, no one knew the Gangnam style dance and K-Pop couldn’t hold a candle to anything the Japanese had.
Soju was in a similar boat, but as Koreans tarted to infiltrate southeast Asia, so too did its white liquor, with it particularly proving popular in countries where there was no decent, not too string local liquor, such as Cambodia, the Philippines and Thailand.
And it was to be in the later, where I would see the drink of my dreams, Smirnoff Soju.
WTF is Smirnoff Soju?
So Smirnoff clearly need no introduction, being the most famous, although far from the best vodka maker in the world. Aside from their vodkas they have also introduced me to many other things I would love, such as Smirnoff Blue (super strength) and Smirnoff Ice, perhaps the most famous alcopop in the world.
It was on a trip to 7-Eleven and while in Circle K that I first spotted Smirnoff Soju, with me not even checking the flavor, but simply buying it. I would later learn that is was Kyoho Grape and Raspberry, with the second being Melon Ice-Cream flavors.
Now I am not usually a fan of flavored soju, with me personally preferring the real McCoy, not just for the flavor, but because it is a few degrees stronger, which for an alcoholic like me makes all the difference.
I did though have to try Smirnoff Soju, so my usual morals were put aside, and how was it? I have to say pretty damned amazing, with Smirnoff largely doing a better job than even the experts at Ginro when it came to flavoring the drink.
The Melon Ice-Cream in particular was the bomb, with my plans being to purchase one and take it to North Korea, where it can be consumed with some street food, while I film the reactions of my Korean comrades.
And as for the information on Smirnoff Soju? Quite simply I do not have any, with even a cursory look on Google just throwing a bunch of Thai writing and TikTok videos, leaving me to believe it is either brand new, or just a thing in Thailand (I cannot imagine it being sold on Seoul).
If indeed it is the case that it is brand new, then I thank my lucky stars that I was one of the first to break the Smirnoff Soju story.