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What is soju?

Soju is a Korean spirit not unlike vodka. Though it's traditionally made from fermented rice or grain, these days most mainstream varieties are made from potato, sweet potato or tapioca starch - a result of the Korean rice shortage of the 1960s. There are a few artisanal brands that continue to use rice, which results in a smoother drink. Peter Jo, late of Sydney's Danjee, says most Koreans drink it with food as a straight shot, or mixed with fresh fruit juice or beer. "There's no classic food pairing, but there are a few things that say 'yes, I need soju', like pork barbecue or barbecued intestines."

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