How Much Soju To Get Drunk: Complete Guide (2023)

Last Updated on April 12, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Soju is a South Korean beverage quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks.

You may have seen soju in Korean dramas and movies before, but if you have yet to drink soju, you’re probably curious about how it tastes and how strong this alcoholic beverage is.

So, let’s transport to South Korea now and find out how much Soju to get drunk, its alcohol content, and everything you need to know about this drink.   

How Much Soju Will Get You Drunk?

Pouring Soju on a Shotglass

To get intoxicated, it will take about five to seven standard drinks of soju. A glass of soju is typically 50ml, so one bottle of soju can make around seven shots.  

Generally, the average shots of soju you can take to get drunk are between five to seven, which makes roughly one soju bottle.   

But if you’re drinking with friends, you would never stop at a single bottle, right? If you consume two bottles, you might get drunk the moment you finish the second bottle.

How about three to four bottles of soju? Well, you can probably pass out and not remember a thing the next day, plus the “unpleasant feeling” of a soju hangover. 

But mind you — this won’t apply to everybody, as there are factors of how alcohol affects the body, including your alcohol tolerance, body composition, the way you’re drinking, and the soju type you’re consuming. 

The Amount Of Soju That’ll Get You Intoxicated


As mentioned above, it can take between five to seven soju shots to get intoxicated. 

But if you have low alcohol tolerance, you may feel tipsy after four to five shots of soju (or half bottles) and six to seven shots (or more) if you’re body can tolerate more alcohol. 


Four to five soju shot is about half a bottle, and six to seven shots make about an entire bottle of soju.

This amount can intoxicate you, depending on how your body reacts to alcohol. 

How Much Alcohol Does It Contain? 

Bottle of Soju

A soju’s bottle typically has 21-24% ABV [1], which relatively contains a low alcohol percentage compared to any hard liquor. 

But, soju’s alcohol crosses over the ABV of an average beer (4%-7% ABV) and wine (13% ABV). 

“It (soju) can give a supporting complement to the food rather than, like wine, actually making the food more complex.”

— Kyungmoon Kim, Founder of KSM Imports

Moreover, the alcohol percentage may lower if you try to mix soju with other non-alcoholic drinks. 

How Long Does It Take For Soju To Kick In? 

It will take around 30 minutes for soju to kick in. Fresh soju is traditionally consumed straight or typically served neat. 

So, its effect on the body will start after 30 minutes of drinking soju and last for a couple of hours, depending on how much and how fast you drink. 

Factors That May Affect Intoxication

Man Drinking Soju


You are likely to get drunk fast if you weigh a little lighter as your body can’t process much alcohol, compared to drinkers with a little more weight. 


Average Men

An average man can tolerate more alcohol than a woman. Man has more body water, so processing the alcohol can be much faster than a woman. But for heavier men, metabolizing alcohol can be slower due to high body fats.  

Average Women

An average woman with high body fat can drink alcohol faster than a man with a heavier weight. 

But women drinking soju faster tend to get intoxicated more quickly due to low body water.  

How You Drink It

No Mixers

South Koreans consume soju frequently straight, with no mixers at all, or sometimes in a chilled glass. 

If you drink the same way, at a faster pace, you can get drunk faster, especially on an empty stomach. 


Sometimes, some people prefer drinking soju mixed with other beverages, like green tea, beer, yogurt, coffee, etc.

The alcohol content decreases if you mix it with non-alcoholic beverages. 

But if you try to mix it with beer or any flavored soju, the alcohol content may vary depending on the amount of ABV of the mixer you add. 


The faster you drink, the quicker you get intoxicated as well, especially when consuming any hard alcohol. 

If you want to stay sober, then have a small pour and consume it at two-hour period intervals.

You can drink as much as you wish (following that interval) with a good buzz after. 

Does Soju Hit Harder Than Vodka?

Pouring Bottle of Soju

It depends. Sojus will hit harder than vodka if you drink more than your body can handle. While soju has less alcohol than vodka, consuming irresponsibly can lead to harmful effects. 

But generally, vodka is harder than soju, with 40% ABV over (around) 24% ABV, respectively.

The effects depend on how you drink, how much you drink, and the ABV of the drink.


Can you drink soju straight up?

Yes, you can consume soju straight up. It’s the usual way of consuming sojus, anyway. 

Is it OK to chug soju?

Yes, it’s OK to chug soju as long as you can handle the oily burn afterward. But it’s recommended to take the first drink of soju [2] as a shot. 

How strong is a shot of soju?

A shot of soju is around 24% ABV or 48-proof, which is relatively lower compared to hard liquor like whiskey, vodka, and tequila. But its ethanol is over beer and wine. 

In A Nutshell 

While soju seems like an easy drink, made of sweet potatoes and rice, it can make you pass out when consumed over your body’s limit. 

On average, five to seven shots of soju can make you drunk, and more shots than that can leave you feeling sick (dizziness, nausea, and dehydration) caused by a hangover. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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