Korean Drinking Etiquette

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Author: tess
Date: 4-18-10
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Anyone who has spent some time in Korea or perhaps hanging around the older, more tradiitonal set may have come into contact with these Korean drinking customs. You can break this etiquette down into a few simple Dos and Don'ts when it comes to pouring drinks and receiving drinks.


  • Do refill others’ drinks (when the glass is totally empty, not partially full)
  • Do use two hands to pour for elders -- put your left hand under your right elbow (not necessary if you are elder etc)
  • Don’t pour your own drink


  • Do generally receive a drink poured by someone else with two hands
  • Do try to accept (and make a show of at least trying to finish) drinks that are offered to you -- especially if poured for you by an elder (and refill their drink if empty)
  • Don’t drink facing elders -- this stems from the concept that young people aren't supposed to drink in front of adults, however when they are excused, they can drink, but they turn to the side out of respect. By my own experience,  this one isn't really observed all that much ... really depends on who (and how much older)
  • Do keep your glass half full if you don't want it to be refilled! This is especially important for the less alcohol tolerant out there

Ready to give it a try? Get started with the following recipes...

  • Yogurt Soju -- exactly what it sounds like. The perfect shot material as it's not as strong as your typical shot.
  • Apple Soju --  Entertain your guests by serving this fizzy, refreshing soju cocktail in carved out apples.
  • Watermelon soju -- a fruity buzz is the result of this combination of watermelon and soju


Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (4 votes)