Here’s Why Every Korean You’ve Ever Seen Shakes Their Soju Bottle Before Drinking

Must know things about soju before you go drinking with Koreans.

Shaking your soju bottle before drinking it is an absolute must in South Korea. But, do you know why this is?

It’s common practice to hit the neck of the bottle before drinking, but many who follow this tradition still don’t know why they do it!


The modern soju bottle uses a metal cap, while in the past, it used to be closed with a cork.

Image Source: Changwon Plaza

The custom of shaking the bottle comes from when these cheaply made corks were used.

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Parts of the cork would disintegrate and fall into the drink, so it was common for people to shake the bottle.

This would cause the crumbled parts of the cork to rise to the top, and hitting the neck of the bottle would get rid of the cork crumbs.

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In addition, shaking the bottle mixes alkaline water particles with the alcohol. Although this practice is not necessary today, the tradition continues on.

The process of drinking soju involves hitting the bottle’s base against one’s elbow, cracking the cap open, then hitting the neck of the bottle with fingers spread.

Need more tips? Be sure to always drink the first shot together!

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Always let someone else pour you your shot (never do it by yourself), and never let someone else pour their own shot!

Be sure to pour for those older than you with both hands, and divert your face away from their view when downing it.

Image Source: Visit Korea

Also, remember to always drink responsibly, and never drink and drive!

Source: Dispatch