How to Make Cinnamon Soju

I’m not very crafty but I can cook and I like giving interesting gifts for Christmas or birthdays. So I often give them jams, salsa (I make a killer, super spicy salsa) or something along those lines. This year I decided to do something a little different and make flavoured soju (소주, the ubiquitous Korean alcohol).

I chose cinnamon hearts because they're my favourite candy
I chose cinnamon hearts because they’re my favourite candy

Okay, so it’s not a groundbreaking idea as there are lots of flavoured rums and vodkas on the market but I have never seen a flavoured soju. I figured the concept was the same so I set out to make a couple of test bottles – a candy cane soju for my friend to get his opinion and a cinnamon heart soju for me (because it’s my favourite candy).

Crushed candy canes
Crushed candy canes

Now, don’t worry if you can’t cook – making flavoured soju is super easy, inexpensive and it really doesn’t take a lot of work. But you will impress your friends.

I’m going to tell you about the easiest method of making flavoured soju – using hard candies – but you can also make it with herbs, fruits and a variety of other ingredients. Are you ready?

Soju with cinnamon hearts - stage one
Soju with cinnamon hearts – stage one

Hints and advice

While I’m going to talk mostly about making cinnamon hearts soju but you can make it with any hard candy. I’ve seen recipes that use any candies including jelly beans and sour jellies but I’ve not tried them yet (however, I think I will). If you use hard candies, you don’t need to filter it as they will completely dissolve in 24 hours or so. Softer candies may need to be filtered (you can do it with a coffee filter and an extra jar or bottle).

Just remember, more candy = more flavour and a sweeter final soju. ^^

If you want your flavoured soju to be a pretty colour, make sure the candy you choose is a single colour or white + one colour. I used candy canes that were white, red and green and ended up with a weird purply brown soju (it tasted yummy but looked bad). Lesson learned.

Soju with candy canes - stage one
Soju with candy canes – stage one

What you need

  • Two bottles of soju
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of candy (I used 1 cup)
  • A jar or clean bottle that is big enough to hold both
  • A coffee filter (if using softer candies)
  • Smaller jars/bottles for gift giving
Cinnamon hearts for flavour
Cinnamon hearts for flavour

Directions

  • If using a larger candy like a candy cane, break it into smaller pieces (it’ll dissolve faster). If you’re using a smaller candy like cinnamon hearts, you can skip this step.
  • Pour candy into clean jar or bottle
  • Fill with soju
  • Make sure the cap is on tightly and shake gently every couple of hours. It’ll take about 24 hours to completely dissolve.
  • If there is extra sugar, pieces or anything not clear, strain the mixture through a coffee filter into the container you’ll be storing it in (or giving it away in).
  • Make a pretty tag explaining what flavour it is and attach it to the jar or bottle.
  • You’re done!
The simplest soju drinking game
The simplest soju drinking game

All of them are best served chilled! Great for shots or sipping. Enjoy with friends, maybe even with a Korean drinking game or two!

And as always, if you used our recipe, please leave a comment and let us know what you thought. ^^

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival. Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher.

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