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. . . in High Spirits

high_spirits

Not that the above graphic means anything bad, but it seems my Korean acquaintances can collectively drink me under the table. My Irish heritage is for naught! (link here)  This means that Koreans drink twice as much as Russians and four times as much as Americans.  As for tea, it seems that my hearty Turkish friends win and I am truly perplexed. (I should mention that “Dokdoforever” made mention of this though I only just now caught it; good catch)

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I’m guessing liquor here means any distilled alcohol? Korea’s soju shots should count as half shots considering the % ABV. I’m guessing the Czechs’ number is mostly slivovice shots, which is 50%+, not to mention the 4 daily pints of beer they drink per capita. Nonetheless, nobody will deny Korea’s collective alcoholism.

  • dlbarch

    I’m sorry, but I gotta call B.S. There is something skewed about these findings. Koreans might be hard-charging drinkers, and may belong among the first tier of countries with a culture of heavy drinking, but that chart for Korea is just too much of an outlier.

    I think MiG is on to something, but just recalling a bit of university statistics and methodology makes me think the above chart for Korea is not what it seems to be.

    …Or not.

    DLB

  • ChuckRamone

    Why did they measure number of shots taken? They should have measured overall weekly consumption and specified the type of spirit. For example, if I were to average the number of drinks I have per week, it would be about 11-13 drinks, but I don’t do shots. Shots are for college idiots binge drinking.

  • wangkon936

    MIG? How about we go all the way and nick name MikeinGyeonggi Mig-29?…. hahaha, I kid, I kid.

  • dlbarch

    Hey, I happen to have very fond memories of my frat boy years!

    At least, I THINK those were fond memories…it’s all a bit of a haze, really!

    DLB

  • ChuckRamone

    I too have fond memories of college parties, I think, but I have to admit my drinking style back then was pretty idiotic. Just indiscriminately drinking as much as possible of whatever was around to get as drunk as possible.

  • dlbarch

    In my experience, that’s called “freshman year.”

    Hopefully there were also a few girls to go with all that drinking!

    Cheers (pun intended!),

    DLB

  • ChuckRamone

    Cheers to that

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    is soju even really liquor? Where I come from we do shots of 40% plus. Anything below that is seen as girly (beer doesnt count here). 20%? Some soju is even below 20%.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Do you do fruity or pink cocktails, then?

  • dlbarch

    Does Grey Goose with three olives count? ‘Cause I could drink those all evening long.

    DLB

  • Sumo294

    The average person looking at this would think Koreans drink double what the Russians drink and triple what the Ukrainians drink and four times what the Germans drink. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! Yup–the marriage of statistics and journalism at its best!

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I agree with you. Traditional Soju is 45%; it’s sad that modern Soju is watered down and is only 15-20%.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I actually like traditional soju (화요 is a brand I believe). It’s a liquor to be proud of! But college kids are cheap and older people actually think Jinro tastes good :P

  • RElgin

    Hwayo is very good. I thought there was a high-end soju from Jinro but I never, ever drink their poison in the green bottle.
    Bohae, from Mokpo, makes a better product and they were the first commercial distiller of soju in Korea.

  • pawikirogii
  • Wedge1

    Yes, a shot of 18% soju is not equivalent to 50% vodka.

  • Sumo294

    Hey–ty for that article. I laughed like crazy. You have to know both American and Korean culture for the full experience–once in a while, out of tons of crap–someone writes a decent read.

  • RAJ

    If true (I don’t doubt it) it’s really unhealthy for them.

  • Sumo294

    According to the stats–Koreans seem to consume more than five times the amount of alcohol than the Brits and the Irish. Ha ha ha ha ha . . . ha ha ha . . . oh man–that is really funny stuff.

  • ChuckRamone

    So the drink options are shots of cheap swill or fruity cocktails? I drink only beer, scotch, or bourbon.

  • Sumo294

    According to the above scintillating stats, the Vietnamese don’t drink strong liquor. Ha ha ha ha . . . I guess all the bars in Hanoi were serving Evian shots–who knew people are willing to pay five bucks for water in Vietnam?
    So–the Koreans drink five times more than the Brits and the Irish who in turn drink as twice as much as the Greeks, Norwegians and South Africans.
    Who did this study–some grad student from the University of Portugal?
    This report is obviously sets the standard for accuracy on hard liquor consumption in the world.

  • Mike Morgan

    Another spirited discussion…

  • Sumo294

    So the Peruvians, Portuguese, and the Argentinians don’t drink the heavy stuff. At first, I scoffed at this and then I realized that all three countries are socialist economic basket cases and very well may not able to afford to drink. Hmnnnn . . . nah . . . the Russians, even in 1997 still found money to drink. Maybe, the Peruvians only drink beer and the other two countries are wine sippers–how about this, that people brew their own liquor in tax crazy nationalized democratic people’s republics and do not report liquor sales. Anyway–rigorous and wonderful academic effort by Roberto and that other dude.

  • redwhitedude

    For Russia drinking was a new form of national suicide.

  • will.i.aint

    That seems kind of high … I was thinking maybe 35%. And my understanding was that the further north – the higher the alcohol content because it would freeze – thus Seoul area soju was generally higher in content than Busan. Do you have a citation for that 45% figure?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No. Grey Goose doesn’t either.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    jesus, man, scotch is shit

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Search “안동소주 45도” (“Andong Soju 45%”) on Google or any other search engine, and you will get a lot of websites with that information, including the Korean wiki: http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%95%88%EB%8F%99%EC%86%8C%EC%A3%BC

  • wangkon936

    Back in the Cold War the Russian soldier grew to love the Mig-25 Foxbat. Not because it was a nice jet but because its braking system had 500 gallons of pure grain ethanol alcohol. The Russian grunt gave it an affectionate nick name: “the flying bar.”

  • Sumo294

    Yup; that is why beer is simply a soft drink in Russia–only to be consumed when you are about to go into surgery for a liver transplant. If you drink wine in the Ukraine and tell people you are under strict doctor’s orders not to drink–they will simply nod and take away your vodka they will assume you will still be having your vitamin drink. If you don’t drink vodka with salo and bread–congrats–your Russian friends will now think you are gay.

  • wangkon936

    The stuff Jinro imports to Japan is much better than the stuff they sell domestically.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I’ve heard Jinro Soju over here in the States has higher alcohol content than in Korea.

  • redwhitedude

    machismo+drinking=more national suicide. Is the life expectancy of russian male even 60 years?

  • redwhitedude

    No wonder the military got so expensive to maintain.

  • redwhitedude

    I heard that North Korean soju is more authentic than South Korean soju. It has to do with a ban or using rice to make it in the 60s due to food shortage in south Korea. And it hasn’t been made since in traditional fashion in South Korea.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Eastern/Central Europe isnt just Russia. Besides, plenty of other things are killing Russians than just drinking

  • redwhitedude

    Like organized crime?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Like crime in general, not just organized crime; STDs; bad lifestyles, which includes not only drinking but bad diets, not enough exercise; poor healthcare; pollution; and a host of other problems. Its a shitty country through and through, with nothing at all redeemable about it.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Germans may drink more in terms of liters of booze consumed, but Ukrainians drink harder stuff.

  • Sumo294

    Not true–the Russian story has taught at least me that communism, socialism and central economic planning is much far worse than capitalism. Many Russians were very beautiful people–they wrote some of the greatest works of literature to ever grace this earth–given more time–they would have overtaken the Brits as the ones who produced Earth’s golden age of literature.

  • ChuckRamone

    I’ve learned that there’s a lot of hype surrounding scotch. But good scotch is really good.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    While I have read that North Korea has its own traditional regional alcohol, I am not sure about North Korean Soju being more authentic than the South (although I would not be surprised). Andong Soju is supposed to be more “traditional” than the stuff in the green bottles.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Scotch is nasty.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Oh God..Russia before Lenin was 95% serfs living in abject poverty, Potemkin villages and a few exceptions to a nasty reality

  • Smithinton

    You guys are off your game here. This is hard liquor only and when you combine all alcohol, Korea is only 14th in the world. Other countries drink way more beer and wine and moderate amounts of hard liquor.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Soju isn’t “hard liquor.” It isn’t hard. 18% is not hard. It is a little bit stronger than red wine, and not by much

  • Smithinton

    It doesn’t matter what you want to call it, that’s what they’ve classified it as, but that’s why the headline to that chart is wrong. If it makes you feel better you can go about your day smug with the knowledge that you got to slam soju today.

  • redwhitedude

    I think rice has been used traditionally to make soju. North Korea seems to still retain the traditional ingredients to make soju.

  • redwhitedude

    Just look at Putin nice photoop while they can’t get those Hotels done right. Misplaced priority. Just like back in the USSR. Let the Potemkin games begin!

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Its also why YOU are wrong to say they “lead in hard liquor consumption.” Agai, soju is not hard. Come back when soju has 45% alcohol and we can talk.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Russia has never been able to get anything right.

  • dlbarch

    The way things are going, Sochi may very well turn out to be the greatest gift to Pyeongchang one could possibly hope for.

    DLB

  • redwhitedude

    Yeah. The fact that Russians picked sochi was in itself a propaganda exercise to demonstrate that they have everything under control in the Caucasus save for a few explosions here and there. Putin has fed the region so much money just to prop it up but it is still a waste land with ethnic russians high tailing it out of there.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    Certain Soju has 45%+…

  • Sumo294

    Before the British Empire flowered–you had starving masses brought on by agricultural reform, loss of cottage industry, and by new trade. Before that–you also had serfs fighting for their landlords. Its all the same–no matter the country and no matter the history. If you want to get technical–there was no middle class until the realized gains in productivity were invested into new infrastructures. Look at Korea–before the Han River Miracle–everyone was poor, basically sharecroppers or small scale day laborers. And only a little before that almost everyone basically some sort of agricultural worker with very limited rights–for example–Korean commoners could not travel around just because they felt like it.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Maybe but the vast majority drink the weak stuff. Who drinks 45% soju?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    except Russia never left serfdom. Then it got it communism. now it is a squalid hole.

  • Sumo294

    If you take an honest look at Vladivostok–it might warm your heart–there has been changes in Russia–despite it all. Perhaps–a full revival will not happen before this generation passes away–but the utter hopeless stares from 1997 are no longer there.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    It’s an opinion. An opinion that 90% of men would disagree with. What do you drink?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Not surprising. They sell crap here and people guzzle it like water, so why mess with the system? Japanese do tend to place more emphasis on beverage quality (e.g. beer and whiskey).

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I have a bottle of 41% Andong soju at home.

  • Smithinton

    Did I say Korea lead in hard liquor consumption..anywhere? Anywhere? Go ahead and find the quote. We’ll wait. No, I said this chart is hard liquor only, and not all alcohol.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I don’t drink. I abstain from booze as much as I can. I used to drink vodka and cognac. Now I prefer water.

  • cactusmcharris

    And here I was thinking that you drinking plonk is a major cause of your quotidian obnoxiousness and invariable disagreeableness.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    No, too much nonsense is the cause of my disagreeableness. You seem to count agreeing for the sake of agreement as the highest of all virtues.

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