Pouring soju from green soju bottle into soju glass.

The hippest way to enjoy Soju!
Enjoy popular soju brands in Korea, the country of soju.

The Best Soju: Top 10 Best-Selling Soju in Korea

Do you want to know which soju brands are the most popular in Korea? Here's a list of the top 10 best-selling soju loved by Koreans!

What is Soju? Korea's National Drink 

Did you know that South Koreans drink the most soju of any country in the world? In fact, they consume an average of 87 bottles(1 bottle = 12.2oz) of soju per adult person each year, according to the 2018 Statistics Korea announcement. This large figure is even more surprising, considering that Korean alcohol consumption has decreased by half compared to 50 years ago.

 At a Korean restaurant, people are toasting with glasses full of soju.

Soju is a must-know subject in Korean culture. We can't discuss Korean culture without soju. If you're a fan of K-pop, K-drama, Korean movies, and like to travel to new and exciting cultures, you'll want to know what soju is popular in Korea.

 

Which Soju Reigns Supreme? 

That's what we're here to find out. From iconic brands to up-and-comers, prepared the best soju brands loved by Koreans. We've ranked the top 10 best-selling soju in Korea, based on sales data from 2019 to 2021. 

So without further ado, Let's get started!

 

What is the Best Soju in South Korea? Soju Top 10 List

1. Chamisul (참이슬) by Jinro: The Undisputed Soju No. 1 Alcoholic Drink

Chamisul is one of the most popular distilled spirits in Korea and it is also one of the most affordable. This brand takes first place with its smooth, clean taste. Chamisul is made with natural ingredients and comes in several different flavors, including grapefruit, peach, and apple. Its alcohol content is (fresh ver.)16.9 and (original soju)20.1 % ABV.

three different varieties of Chamisul Soju on the bar table, one bottle each in fresh, plum, and green grape

Jinro is one of the big liquor companies. it produced by Jinro is known for its light flavor and sweet aftertaste. Jinro is also the brand name of diluted Jinro-soju first released in 1924 by this company.

 

2. Chum Churum (처음처럼) by Lotte: Challenging National Drink with Low Alcohol Spirit and Very Smooth Taste

Chum-Churum was first launched in 2006. Lotte Chilsung Beverage is a distillery company of it. The name "Chum Churum" comes from the Korean phrase "cheoeum cheoreom," which means "like the first time." This is loved by Koreans for its flavored soju, sweet, fruity, and smoother taste. It has lower alcohol content, blue 16%, green 16.5%, and red 20% ABV.

Lotte is one of the biggest conglomerates. The company was founded in 1948 and has since grown to become a major player in the Korean economy. Today, Lotte Chilsung Beverage, one of the Lotte Group is the second-largest distillery in South Korea.

 

3. Good Day (좋은데이) by Muhak: The Power of Local Soju Producers

Good Day was first released in 2006. This soju is made with natural ingredients and has a fresh, pure flavor. It comes in several different flavors, including grapefruit, peach, apple, and strawberry. Its alcohol content is 16.9 % ABV.

The Korean name for Good-Day is "joheun dei(좋은데이)". It's derived from the Gyeongsangnam-do dialects' pronunciation of "joheun dei" which means "It's great!" The English name was formed as a pun on words by combining Korean and English.

Good Day is one of the most popular distilled spirits in Gyeongsangnam-do. And it is loved for its light, exquisite flavor.

 

4. Charm Soju (참소주) by Kumbokju: Traditional Local Soju Maker

At restaurants in Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in South Korea, if you say “Please give me a bottle of soju,” they will serve the Charm-soju. Charm-soju is traditionally consumed for a long time in the area. Its alcohol content is 16.9% ABV.

map of South Korea shows each region of Korea and pictures of the best-selling soju there.

Charm-soju is the most popular type of alcoholic drink in Daegu, the hometown of Yoongi(Suga) and Taehyung(V) BTS.

Charm-Soju is produced by Kumbokju is an old and traditional soju producer located in the city of Daegu in South Korea. The company was founded in 1957 and produces several different brands of soju, including Charm Soju, Kumbokju, etc. 

 

5. Maple soju (Yipsejoo, 잎새주) by Bohae: Most Popular Soju in Gwangju, the Hometown of J-Hope BTS

Maple-soju is the flagship product of Bohae Brewery, launched in 2002. It is slightly sweeter and has a characteristic taste, but it does not leave a bitter taste at the back. It has 17.8% ABV.

Yipsejoo is the Korean pronunciation(Ipsaeju) of original product names. Maple soju is the English product name for export. Both names are used a lot. 

Yipsejoo is the best-selling soju in Jeollanam-do and Gwangju. Gwangju is famous as the hometown of BTS J-Hope and the democratization movement, Gwangju Uprising. 

So drinking this soju while listening to BTS 'Dionysus' makes it even more enjoyable and delightful.🎵

 

6th ~ 10th list, Let's take a look at this quickly.

  • 6. Daesun (대선) by Daesun Distilling
  • 7. Now We Are (이제우린) by Mackiss Company
  • 8. Hallasan Soju (한라산) by Hallasan
  • 9. C1 (시원) by Daesun
  • 10. Pureun bam (푸른밤) by Shinsegea

This list is based on the Sales Reports from 2019 through 2022 issued by each company. The rankings may change, but I believe that the overall market coverage and position will be similar.

Various brands of soju are full in a crates box

 

What is the Best Soju to You?

Of course, the best soju is the one that you like the most and fits your preferences. So don't be afraid to explore a lot of options. The world of Korean soju is huge and infinite. There are many different types than the 10 mentioned above. Let's jump in together and explore this ocean of soju together.

Now that we've looked at the top ten Korean soju in South Korea.

If you’re looking for a fun, easy way to get into the spirit of Korea, soju is the drink for you! And if you want to stick with what’s popular among Koreans, try one of the sojus on our list.

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your next soju!

Jjan, one-shot! (Cheers, Bottom up! in Korean)

Yang Junghwa

I love Korea, kittens, kindness, kimchi, and knowledge. I am the Earth and life wanderer who was born in Seoul, South Korea. I wanted to be the Wonder Woman, but now be a quite similar Wander Woman, anyway :) There is a birth myth about me. I was the wonder baby, surprised the whole maternity hospital by drinking up a full big bottle of milk within hours of being born. King Kool!

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