Soju bomb is a popular variation of Somaek, a Korean alcoholic drink that is made using soju and beer. It is especially popular among people who find soju (liquor) too strong or who don’t like the taste of beer!
Korean salarymen are likely the ones who popularised the alcoholic mix. However, the drink has evolved over time and is now enjoyed by many people overseas!
There are several ways of making this alcoholic combination. The most popular methods include poktanju, somaek, and somaekcol. Although there are many soju flavors, Koreans make these delicious cocktails with the classic flavor.
In theory, the cocktail will work with any light beer or lager. However, we recommend you stick to either using Hite or Cass Fresh which are both popular Korean brands.
In Korea, pouring alcohol into glasses at gatherings is a way to show off an individual’s mixology skills and their optimal somaek combinations. Thanks to this, there are also many fun games or ways to enjoy the concoction. Some of these include the Korean drinking game titanic, tsunami (using chopsticks or spoon) and even using a tissue or napkin?! Be warned - all of these methods will cause a bit of a mess! Especially from the beer fizz!
Learn how to make somaek, soju bomb, and somekcol as well as fun games to play below.
Somaek is an alcoholic drink that mixes soju and beer. The Korean name comes from combining the words soju (spirit) and maekju (beer) together. The cocktail is extremely easy to make. It is no wonder why the Korean nation loves this drink!
How to make Somaek
- Pour soju into a glass, filling it up to 30% of the way
- Pour your beer into the same glass, filling it up to 70% full
The best ratio to making a soju bomb or somaek is 3 parts soju to 7 parts beer. The more spirit that is used, the stronger your drink will be. However, it is commonly agreed by the general public of Korea that 3:7 is the golden ratio.
They even sell the glasses to make sure you get the ratio right even after a few rounds of drinks!
Not only does the somaek glass label the so-called 3:7 golden ratio, but it also has other great ratios for a stronger or lighter drink. For a gentle and smooth drink go for 1:9, for a blackout for 5:5.
The somaek glass is so popular that it is almost sold out everywhere online (we checked in the States and the UK)! Jinro, a popular soju brand in Korea, have made their own version of a somaek glass and sells it in a duo pack with two of their best flavors (classic and fresh).
For a price under 28 USD dollars, it’s not a bad deal.
Jinro Chamisul Soju Duo pack
Somaekcol is a Korean cocktail made with Soju, Maekju (beer), and Coco-cola. People usually enjoy this drink because it adds a sweet aftertaste from the spirit and beer. It is also called gojingamrae (고진감래) which is also a Korean idiom that translates to sweetness comes after bitterness.
How to make Somaekcol
You will need 2 shot glasses and 1 regular cup.
- Take one shot glass and place it inside the cup.
- Fill 30% of the shot with cola
- Take the second shot glass and stack it on top of the first shot glass.
- Fill 50% of the shot with soju
- Top the rest of the drink with a light beer.
Soju Bomb is a shot of soju that is dropped into a glass of beer. Therefore, in Korean, it is called poktanju, (폭탄주) which translates to bomb drink. It is a variation of Somaek.
Soju is a low alcoholic spirit (around 14%) that is traditionally made from rice. The beer used for the drink is usually Hite or Cass Fresh which are both popular brands of light beers in Korea.
How to make Soju bomb
You will need 1 shot glass and a regular beer glass.
- Fill your regular glass up to 70% full
- Fill your shot up and drop it into the beer.
Enjoy in one shot as the locals do!
Ways to Enjoy Soju Bomb
Carefully pour your alcohol combination. Using chopsticks or a spoon, lightly tap the glass to cause bubbles to fizz. The alternative is to place a spoon inside the drink and swirl or hit the bottom of the drink hard.
First, pour your soju into the regular glass. Open the bottle of beer. Place your thumb over the opening and shake it well. The more you shake, the more bubbly it will be! Pour directly into the drink. This is also called the bubble shower or bubble massage shot by some Koreans.
A fun way to enjoy a soju bomb! Pour your beer into the cup, balance a shot of soju between two chopsticks. Hit the table with your fist to drop the shot into the beer glass.
Yes Sir! Soju Bomb
This is a variation of the taekwondo shot. Instead of using your fist to hit the table, you use your head! Usually, you will say something like “I will do my best” before lightly hitting your head on the table to drop the shot into the beer.
Here's a fun video of someone doing a Yes Sir! Soju bomb shot!
It’s likely that this was made a Korean drinking game among salarymen who wanted to impress their bosses.
Line multiple glasses with beer and balance a shot of the liquor on top. Tip and drink the soju bomb all together as a group!
Soju Bomb with Tissue
Pour your alcohol combination and cover with a tissue or napkin. Shake vigorously! Take the wet napkin off and drink!
This is a technique of shaking the bottle to make swirls inside the bottle before opening it. To do this, shake the bottle in three directions, clockwise at 12,6 and 9 o'clock. Alternatively, you can flip the bottle and quickly flipping it back and a slight angle. We think it's a pretty cool party trick!
See it in action here:
Korean Drinking Games
There are many Korean drinking games that involve the use of soju. So here are the 3 most popular games to play.
As the title suggests a sinking ship might be involved. In this case, the sinking ship is the soju shot in the beer glass!
- Pour your beer into a glass, filling it up 70% of the glass.
- Then gently place an empty shot glass inside the drink.
- Take turns to fill the empty shot glass with soju.
- Whoever sinks the shot glass into the beer has to drink!
Flick the Soju Bottle Cap
When you open a new bottle of soju, a small part of the bottle cap comes apart. Flick the cap, is a game that utilizes the many bottle caps lying around the table!
- Take the soju bottle cap and twist
- Take turns to flick it off.
- Whoever flicks it off does not need to drink while the rest of the group does.
Most people will play this game where the person who flicks the bottle cap off doesn’t have to drink. However, some will play it in the opposite way where the person who flicks the bottle cap off has to drink. So make sure you know the rules before you play!
Finally, the last game on our list is High or Low which also uses a soju bottle cap to play! The person who wins in the game of Flick the Cap becomes the moderator of this game.
Inside each soju bottle cap, there should be a number from 1 to 100 inscribed. The moderator will tell everyone a range in which the mystery number falls between i.e. 1-30 or 60-90. Everyone in the group takes turns guessing what the mystery number is.
After each guess, the moderator will say if the number is higher or lower. The person to correctly guess the mystery number makes everyone drink! Just like Flick the Cap, the game can also be played in reverse where the person who guessed correctly has to drink.
Soju Bomb and Somaek Master
Now that you know everything there is to know about the soju bomb, somaek, and somaekcol the only thing left is buying a few bottles of soju (or a cool somaek glass) and putting it to the test. Enjoy!
Wondering what goes well with a soju bomb, somaek, or somaekcol? Try making rabokki, a cheesy Korean dish made with ramen and rice cakes!