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How Much Soju To Get Drunk: Complete Guide (2024)

How Much Soju to Get Drunk 

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 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. 

Read: Soju vs Sake


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. 

Read: How To Drink Japanese Whisky Like A Pro


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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you drink 12% soju?

Drinking 12% soju is similar to consuming other alcoholic beverages with similar alcohol by volume (ABV). Here are some common ways to enjoy 12% soju:
Neat: You can drink 12% soju straight from the bottle or poured into a glass. Sip it slowly to savor the flavor and alcohol content.
On the rocks: Serve 12% soju over ice for a chilled and refreshing experience. The ice helps dilute the alcohol slightly and can mellow out the flavor.
Mixed drinks: Use 12% soju as a base spirit for cocktails. It pairs well with various mixers like soda water, fruit juices, or flavored syrups. Popular soju cocktails include Soju Mojito, Soju Cosmo, and Soju Lemonade.
Shots: Take shots of 12% soju if you prefer a quicker and more intense consumption method. However, remember to drink responsibly and pace yourself.
Regardless of how you choose to drink 12% soju, it’s essential to consume it responsibly and be mindful of your alcohol intake.

Is 20% soju strong?

Yes, 20% soju is considered relatively strong compared to other alcoholic beverages. Soju typically ranges in alcohol content from around 16% to 25% ABV, with 20% falling within this range.

However, the strength of soju can vary depending on the brand and production process.

Consuming soju with 20% ABV can lead to intoxication more quickly than lower-alcohol beverages. It’s essential to drink 20% soju responsibly and be aware of your alcohol tolerance to avoid negative consequences.

What does tipsy feel like?

Feeling tipsy is a state of mild intoxication characterized by subtle changes in behavior and perception due to alcohol consumption. Some common sensations associated with being tipsy include:
Euphoria: A sense of relaxation and happiness may accompany mild intoxication.
Lowered inhibitions: You might feel more outgoing and social than usual, with fewer reservations about engaging in conversation or activities.
Impaired coordination: Coordination and motor skills may become slightly affected, leading to minor difficulties with balance or fine movements.
Increased sociability: Tipsiness can enhance sociability and lead to more animated conversations and interactions with others.
Decreased judgment: Decision-making abilities may be slightly impaired, leading to potentially riskier behavior or lowered inhibitions.
It’s important to note that feeling tipsy is a preliminary stage of intoxication and can progress to more severe levels if alcohol consumption continues. It’s crucial to drink responsibly, know your limits, and avoid driving or engaging in activities that require full cognitive function when feeling intoxicated.

How much alcohol makes a person drunk?

The amount of alcohol needed to make a person drunk, or intoxicated, varies depending on several factors, including individual tolerance, body weight, metabolism, and the rate of alcohol consumption. Generally, intoxication occurs when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches or exceeds 0.08%, which is the legal limit for driving in many countries.

However, the effects of alcohol can start to be felt at lower levels of consumption, and factors such as food intake, hydration, and genetic predisposition also play a role in how alcohol affects an individual.

It’s essential to drink responsibly, know your limits, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption to prevent negative consequences such as impaired judgment, accidents, and health risks.

Is 2 bottles of soju a lot?

Yes, consuming two bottles of soju is considered a significant amount of alcohol and can lead to intoxication for most individuals. Soju typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) content ranging from about 16% to 25%, depending on the brand and type.

Therefore, consuming two bottles of soju, each containing approximately 360 milliliters, would result in consuming a considerable amount of alcohol.

The effects of drinking two bottles of soju can vary depending on factors such as individual tolerance, body weight, metabolism, and the rate of consumption.

However, it’s important to note that consuming such a large quantity of alcohol increases the risk of alcohol poisoning, impaired judgment, accidents, and other adverse health effects. It’s crucial to drink responsibly and be aware of your alcohol intake to avoid negative consequences.

How strong is one shot of soju?

The strength of one shot of soju depends on the specific brand and type, as well as its alcohol by volume (ABV) content. Soju typically ranges from about 16% to 25% ABV, although some varieties may have higher or lower alcohol concentrations.

Assuming an average ABV of around 20%, one shot (approximately 1.5 fluid ounces or 44 milliliters) of soju would contain approximately 0.6 ounces (18 milliliters) of pure alcohol. This is roughly equivalent to the alcohol content in a standard shot of vodka or other distilled spirits.

It’s important to drink soju and other alcoholic beverages responsibly, regardless of their alcohol content. Consuming one shot of soju may not significantly impair most individuals, but excessive consumption can lead to intoxication, impaired judgment, and other adverse effects.

Does soju make you drunk?

Yes, soju can make you drunk if consumed in sufficient quantities. Soju typically contains alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from about 16% to 25%, depending on the brand and type.

Consuming soju, like any alcoholic beverage, can lead to intoxication, which is characterized by impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and other effects.

The likelihood and severity of intoxication depend on various factors, including individual tolerance, body weight, metabolism, and the rate of consumption.

It’s important to drink soju responsibly and be aware of your alcohol intake to avoid negative consequences associated with intoxication.

Do you sip or shoot soju?

The choice of sipping or shooting soju depends on personal preference, cultural norms, and the context in which the drink is consumed. In South Korea, where soju is a popular beverage, it’s common to drink it both ways.

Sipping: Some people prefer to sip soju slowly, enjoying its flavor and aroma. Sipping allows for a more relaxed and controlled drinking experience, and it can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed with other ingredients in cocktails.
Shooting: Others may choose to shoot soju, meaning they consume it quickly in one gulp. Shooting soju can be a more efficient way to consume the drink, particularly in social settings or when playing drinking games. However, shooting soju increases the risk of consuming alcohol too quickly and can lead to intoxication more rapidly.

Ultimately, whether you sip or shoot soju is a matter of personal preference and drinking style. It’s important to drink responsibly and be mindful of your alcohol intake regardless of how you choose to consume soju.

Can soju cause liver damage?

Like all alcoholic beverages, excessive and prolonged consumption of soju can contribute to liver damage and other adverse health effects. Soju contains ethanol, which is metabolized by the liver. Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to liver conditions such as fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

Factors that can increase the risk of liver damage from soju include:
Amount consumed: Consuming large quantities of soju or drinking it frequently increases the strain on the liver and raises the risk of liver damage.

Duration of consumption: Long-term, heavy drinking is more likely to cause liver damage than occasional or moderate drinking.
Individual susceptibility: Some individuals may be more susceptible to liver damage from alcohol due to genetic factors, pre-existing liver conditions, or other health issues.

It’s essential to drink soju and other alcoholic beverages in moderation and be aware of your overall alcohol consumption to protect your liver and maintain your health. If you have concerns about your drinking habits or liver health, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional.

How do I know I’m tipsy?

Feeling tipsy is a preliminary stage of intoxication characterized by mild effects of alcohol consumption. Some signs that you may be feeling tipsy include:
Euphoria: A sense of happiness or relaxation.
Lowered inhibitions: Reduced reservations or increased sociability.
Impaired coordination: Minor difficulties with balance or fine motor skills.
Increased sociability: Heightened desire to engage in conversation or activities with others.
Decreased judgment: Impaired decision-making abilities.
Flushed skin: Skin may appear flushed or warm to the touch.
Slowed reaction time: Delayed response to stimuli or events.
It’s important to be mindful of these signs and drink responsibly. If you start to feel more intoxicated or experience any adverse effects, it’s best to stop drinking and ensure you’re in a safe environment.

What are the 7 stages of being drunk?

The stages of intoxication can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as individual tolerance, body weight, metabolism, and the rate of alcohol consumption. However, some common stages of being drunk include:
Euphoria: A sense of happiness or relaxation.
Excitement: Increased sociability and energy.
Confusion: Difficulty concentrating or processing information.
Stupor: Impaired coordination and slurred speech.
Coma: Loss of consciousness or inability to respond to stimuli.
Respiratory depression: Slowed breathing or difficulty breathing.
Death: In severe cases, alcohol poisoning can lead to respiratory failure or death.
It’s important to drink responsibly and be aware of your alcohol intake to avoid reaching dangerous levels of intoxication.

What are the 5 signs of alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Some signs of alcohol poisoning include:
Confusion or stupor: Inability to stay awake or respond to stimuli.
Vomiting: Persistent vomiting, especially if the person is unconscious or semi-conscious.
Seizures: Involuntary muscle spasms or seizures.
Slow or irregular breathing: Shallow or irregular breathing patterns, or breathing that slows to fewer than eight breaths per minute.
Hypothermia or low body temperature: Cold, clammy skin or a body temperature below 95°F (35°C).
If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, it’s crucial to seek medical help immediately by calling emergency services or taking them to the nearest emergency room. While waiting for help to arrive, monitor their breathing, keep them in a safe position, and try to keep them awake. Do not leave them alone, and do not attempt to make them vomit. Alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening, so it’s essential to take prompt action to ensure the person receives the necessary medical care.

How Much Soju To Get Drunk

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. 


  1. Soju Goes Where Vodka Cannot Tread
  2. What a Newbie Needs to Know about Soju, One of the World’s Most Popular Spirits
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