Maekju Somaek Cocktail Recipe

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Maekju Somaek Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Maekju Somaek, also known as Soju Bomb, is a popular Korean cocktail that combines two of Korea's most beloved alcoholic beverages: Soju and Maekju (Korean beer). It gained popularity in the late 20th century and is now a staple in Korean bars and restaurants. The cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy the taste of Soju but want to lighten it up with the addition of beer.

  • Originated in South Korea
  • Popular in Korean bars and restaurants
  • Combines Soju and Maekju (Korean beer)

How Maekju Somaek Tastes?

The taste of Maekju Somaek is a harmonious blend of sweet, slightly bitter, and refreshing. The Soju provides a smooth and slightly sweet taste, while the beer adds a light bitterness and carbonation that balances the overall flavor.

Interesting facts about Maekju Somaek

  • The name 'Somaek' is a combination of 'Soju' and 'Maekju'
  • It's also known as 'Soju Bomb'
  • It's a popular choice for drinking games in Korea


  • Soju: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Beer: 6 oz(180ml)


Soju, a clear, distilled beverage from Korea, is a staple in many Korean drinks. Typically ranging from 16% to 25% alcohol by volume, it brings a punch without overwhelming the palate. In a Somaek, it adds a smooth, slightly sweet kick that elevates the beer. Using more than 1.5 oz can make the drink too strong, while less won't give the desired kick.

Mary Mitkina


The beer acts as the calming counterpart to the Soju. Usually a light Korean beer is used for its clean and crisp qualities which balance the stronger, sharper taste of Soju. Going beyond 6 oz can dilute the Soju too much, losing the cocktail's character, while less beer might mean the Soju overpowers the drink.

If you replace Soju with another spirit like vodka, the taste would be harsher, and the cultural essence lost. Substituting the beer with a non-alcoholic version could work for a lighter drink, but it would change the essence of the Somaek.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Maekju Somaek Drink

  1. Fill a glass with 6 oz of beer
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of Soju into a shot glass
  3. Carefully drop the shot glass into the beer glass
  4. Stir gently to mix the Soju and beer together
  5. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Use a light lager or pilsner beer for the best flavor combination
  • Make sure the beer is cold for a more refreshing taste
  • You can adjust the ratio of Soju to beer according to your preference

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Korean BBQ: The refreshing mix of Soju and Beer cuts through the rich, savory flavors of grilled meats.
  • Fried Chicken: A classic choice, the carbonation and lightness of the drink cleanse the palate between bites.
  • Seafood Pancakes (Haemul Pajeon): This cocktail pairs beautifully with the crispiness and seafood flavors in this pancake.
  • Kimchi: The fizzy and light cocktail can temper the spiciness and sourness of kimchi.

Drink Pairings

  • Water: To stay hydrated while enjoying your drinks!
  • Green Tea: Can be a nice non-alcoholic alternative to cleanse the palate.

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What you could change in Maekju Somaek

If you don't have access to Korean Soju, you can substitute it with Japanese Sake or a clear spirit like Vodka.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists馃嵐

Honey Citrus Somaek

  • Add 1 tbsp of honey and a squeeze of lemon to the beer before adding the Soju shot.
  • The honey sweetens the drink while the lemon brings a fresh, zesty twist. This variation is delightful in the summertime or as a sweet contrast to spicy Korean dishes.

Berry Somaek

  • Muddle a handful of mixed berries in the glass before adding the beer and the Soju.
  • The berries will deliver a fruity complexity to the Somaek, creating a more cocktail-like experience. Perfect to impress at a dinner party or when beer and Soju need a fruity boost.

Herb-Infused Somaek

  • Steep some fresh mint or basil leaves in the Soju for an hour before making the cocktail.
  • The herbs impart a refreshing and aromatic quality to the drink, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a sophisticated twist on the traditional Somaek.

In case you forgot basics how to make Maekju Somaek

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Maekju Somaek

Is the Maekju Somaek a traditional Korean drink?

Yes, the Maekju Somaek is a modern but very popular cocktail in Korea, often enjoyed during social gatherings and parties.

Why is it called a Soju Bomb?

The name 'Soju Bomb' comes from the method of preparation, where a shot of Soju is 'dropped' into a glass of beer, often creating a 'bomb'-like effect.

Is it okay to use a different type of beer?

Absolutely! While a light lager or pilsner beer is recommended, you can use whatever beer you prefer or have on hand.

Can I use flavored Soju for this cocktail?

Yes, flavored Soju can add an interesting twist to the Maekju Somaek. However, it could significantly alter the taste of the original cocktail.

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