Citron soju, move over! If Lotte’s popular fruit-flavored liquor seems sooo last spring, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a new taste in town. Bohae Brewery recently debuted the world’s first bottled sparkling soju, and it’s making waves on social media — it’s even got a helpful hashtag on the label. Called Brother Soda, this fizzy soju is created from a white wine base and is said to taste like Milkis or Ambasa, which are popular milk-flavored sodas in Korea. (So to make things clear, this is a wine-based soju that tastes like soda that tastes like milk. Got it?)
Continuing Koreans’ current preference for weaker liquor, Brother Soda’s alcohol content is only three percent, while citron soju contains fourteen percent and standard soju averages around 20 percent. Bohae has stated that this lower percentage is optimal for creating a full-bodied, sweet taste, while minimizing the harsh taste and smell of alcohol. In other words, you could be forgiven for thinking this actually is soda.
Some netizens are questioning why the soju label depicts what appears to be a marijuana leaf. While the company explained that the plastic bottle was chosen to improve the soju’s effervescent quality, it did not address the label design, which is similar to that of Bohae’s Brother soju (of which Brother Soda is an offshoot). In any case, the cheeky nod to a drug that’s highly illegal in Korea has hardly deterred young people from tweeting and Instagramming photos of the bottles— or at least wondering how to get their hands on one.
And that’s a good question, as Brother Soda does not seem to be readily available throughout Korea. It may be following in the footsteps of Lotte’s citron-flavored Sunhari soju, which debuted last March only in Busan and South Gyeongsang, and went on to sell over 1.5 million bottles in the first month alone. Will Brother Soda be able to gain the same amount of traction? Time will tell, but it certainly seems like Korea’s Instagrammers are doing their part to spread the #brothersoda (#부라더 #소다) madness — at least until another brewery steps up with the next crazy soju flavor.
Will you try soda-flavored soju?
Cover image: joocha