Soju (different from the Japanese Shochu
) is a clear Korean grain liquor, made from rice and other grains like barley, wheat, potato or tapioca. It is usually 20% or 40-proof making it weak in comparison with other clear liquors, and regulated to no more than 35%. Often served alone in shot glasses.
A Soju is made either with a process involving mixing pure ethanol with water and flavoring or through distillation of several grains. The manufacture differs between regions of Korea creating several varieties, many of which remain local varieties. Sugar is usually involved in the production, making it slightly sweet. It is inexpensive to produce and widely available, making it one of the most popular beverages in Korea.