The JoongAng Daily reports that your bog standard soju now has 18% alcohol content, down from 23% 15 years ago. You can even find some below 17%. If trends continue, with wines getting stronger (you can get extreme wines at around 15%) it won’t be long before your everyday soju is weaker than your everyday wine. But I’d be willing to bet that, unit for unit, soju will give you the bigger hangover.
Lotte, who make Chum-churum, claim that “Korean people … prefer the soft taste of low-alcohol drinks.” But they also confess: “We can save production costs in raw materials like ethanol by lowering alcohol content.” Cheers all round, then.