06 SOJU is a special collaboration with our comrade Jisung Chun of Soy & Rice for our elevator spirit series.* Typically, you will find modern sojus on the shelves at a lower alcohol content than vodka, around 20%. 06 SOJU is a traditional spirit that sits at 40% and packs a lot of funky flavor.
Soju is a traditional Korean spirit that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is made from a variety of grains, including rice, wheat, and barley, and is typically enjoyed neat or mixed with other ingredients to create cocktails. In the past, soju was primarily made from rice, but as the demand for soju grew, it became more expensive to use rice as the main ingredient. To make soju more affordable, producers began using other grains, such as wheat and barley, as well as other ingredients, such as sweet potatoes, to reduce the cost of production. Today, many soju brands use a combination of grains and other ingredients in their production process.
Our 06 SOJU is made from 100% rice, harkening back to Korean traditions. Together with Jisung, we started out using a nuruk starter which is a type of fermentation starter used in the production of traditional Korean alcoholic beverages, such as Makgeolli and soju.
During the fermentation process, a variety of microorganisms, including yeasts and lactic acid bacteria, begin to grow and multiply in the mixture. These microorganisms play a crucial role in the fermentation process, converting the sugars in the rice into alcohol and giving the final product its distinct flavor and aroma. We made a Makgeolli, also known as Korean rice wine, using the nuruk starter. It is a traditional alcoholic beverage that has been enjoyed in Korea for centuries and known for its milky white color and slightly sweet, slightly sour taste. In recent years, Makgeolli has seen a resurgence in popularity, particularly among younger Koreans and foreigners. This is in part due to the increasing interest in traditional Korean culture and the growing popularity of Korean cuisine around the world. Our head distiller, Aleks, then takes that initial Makgeolli and distills the wine into what becomes our 06 SOJU.
The art on the label is inspired by a Korean legend of a bear and tiger. In the tale, the bear and tiger live in a cave and pray to become human. Hearing their prayers, the deity Hwanung, gives them cloves of garlic, mugwort and ordered them to stay in the cave and only eat this food for 100 days. After 20 days, the tiger becomes too hungry and leaves the cave. On the 21st day, the bear is transformed into a beautiful woman known as Ungnyeo.
Overall, soju is a delicious and integral part of Korean culture that is worth trying if you have the opportunity. Whether enjoyed neat or mixed into cocktails, it is a versatile and refreshing drink that is sure to impress.
Make yourself a SOJU-rita! 2 oz 06 SOJU
1 oz honey simple syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
.25 oz fresh lime juice
2 dashes of bitters
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until the metal is frosty. Strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with citrus.
This is unique to 3BR Distillery where we dedicate our most limited and special releases to a floor on a never-ending apartment building where the elevator was designed by Grandpa Oleg - grandfather, moonshiner, elevator engineer.