The Booze Blog - Alcohol, Bars, Malaysia and Beyond.

21 March 2012


Korean food is delicious. The Kimchi, the ramen, the bbq-ed meat. Deeelicious. And frightfully expensive. But there's definitely one thing which may numb your senses a little bit when the bill comes: Osipseju.

Osipseju in a small kettle
Osipseju is an equal serving of Baekseju  and Soju. It is usually served very cold in a small metal kettle, and you drink it off tiny cups (like shot glasses, or teacups). Let's quickly explain what Baekseju and Soju is.

Soju is Korean's version of vodka and traditionally made out of rice. It's typically drank neat with a shot glass. Its ABV ranges from about 17% to 40%. The one pictured is about 19.5% - which is scarier than your typical pint of beer ain't it? If you watch Korean dramas a lot you're bound to notice that Koreans drink this like they drink water. Bitter and dry, it leaves a bite on the tongue. I personally find this very difficult to swallow.

Baekseju is Korean rice wine with ginseng. And it literally translates into “100 years old wine”  as it's supposed to help you live to a 100 with all the ginseng goodness that's been infused into it. It's sweeter tasting &  smelling than soju but with all the ginseng in there, don't be surprised that it's also all sorts of bitter too.

Soju and Baekseju

So back to Osipseju. It literally means "50 years old wine". Mixing soju and baeksoju together is much more alcoholic so you live half as long, hehe.

For some reason, it also tastes so much better, sweeter and smoother too. Just remember to have it very cold. And it complements Korean food so well. But don't take my word for it though. Next time when you're at a Korean restaurant, try it out for yourself. Careful though - it's quite lethal and definitely NOT for lightweights. :)