Looking for a new pretty cocktail to serve? Try this easy strawberry soju cocktail that tastes as good as it looks! It’s the perfect cocktail for Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, a spring party, summer gathering, or just because you deserve it!
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this easy strawberry soju cocktail, I have to tell you that this is a Tik Tok-inspired drink. I can’t remember when I first drank soju, but I like that it’s mild compared to Vodka or Sake. Anyway, knowing that I occasionally enjoy drinking soju, my kids suggested I try a few soju mixed drinks. My son suggested I try a soju and Milkis cocktail and my daughter suggested a soju and Yakult cocktail from Tik Tok.
Now, I’ve tried the strawberry soju and Yakult (Japanese probiotic drink) cocktail, but I wasn’t in love. Maybe I’m too much of a lightweight when it comes to drinking? That combo was too tangy and I prefer drinks on the sweeter side, so Calpico is my choice. Someday, I would like to try soju and Milkis (Korean carbonated milk drink) but, I haven’t been able to find Milkis in stores.
What is Soju?
If you’ve been to a Korean mart or an all-around Asian store, you may have noticed a shelf or two of green soju bottles and wondered about it. Well, it’s Korea’s National drink and according to winepair.com, it is the best-selling liquor in the world by volume. I had no idea!
As far as taste, original soju is somewhat similar to the clean neutral taste of vodka. The alcohol content in the classic non-flavored soju varies but is usually about 20-24%, so stronger than beer (about 3-14%) and not as strong as vodka (40%). Flavored soju has an alcohol content between 12-13%, so it’s perfect for the lightweight drinker.
Traditionally, soju was made with only rice. Now, soju is produced with a mixture of rice, barley, wheat, tapioca, and sometimes sweet potato. This mixture helps keep the cost of this drink lower. Soju can be purchased for about $4 or less in the U.S. at most Asian marts, Bevmo!, Total Wine and More, select Ralphs. Note: This cocktail uses Jinro strawberry soju and using another brand may change the taste a bit.
What is Calpico?
First, I love Calpico in all flavors: original, lychee, peach, mango, and strawberry. Calpico is a Japanese fermented, cultured milk drink that is sweet and tangy. The base of Calpico is milk, yeast, and lactic acid bacterium. It is one of the most popular non-carbonated drinks in Japan and is labeled ‘Calpis’ there. Yes, ‘Calpis’ doesn’t have a nice ring in English, so it’s changed to Calpico in the U.S.
For this easy strawberry soju cocktail, I’ll be using the strawberry-flavored Calpico. If you can’t find strawberry Calpico, you can substitute it with a strawberry yogurt-based drink. Just note that the drink will have a slightly different taste as strawberry Calpico is sweeter and not as tangy as most other yogurt-based drinks. Strawberry Calpico also has a slightly darker pink color than other strawberry yogurt drinks, so the color of the cocktail is pinker.
Calpico can be purchased in Japanese marts, Ralphs, World Market, and various online stores. I highly suggest buying Calpico in an Asian mart rather than online as it is much cheaper (about $5 for a 50 oz. bottle).
Items Needed for Strawberry Soju Cocktail
Clear cup – While it isn’t necessary, a clear cup allows the drinker to see the pretty color of the cocktail and the strawberries.
Shot Glass or Measuring Cups/Spoons – Standard shot glass or a measuring cup and measuring spoons can be used. Note: For this cocktail, I filled the shot glass to the brim, which is about 4 T. of liquid. FYI, shot glasses can easily be found in thrift stores for $1.50 and under per glass.
Cutting board/knife or muddler – A muddler will make it easy to smash the strawberries, but if you don’t have one, use a cutting board and knife to fine dice the strawberries. The key is to get a lot of juicy flavors out of the strawberries.
Strawberry Calpico – Can substitute a strawberry yogurt drink, like strawberry Yakult or Strawberry Yogo Vera. Note that the flavor of the drink will be different if Calpico is substittuted.
Strawberry Soju – Can substitute regular soju, but it has a higher alcohol content. The amount added to the drink will have to be reduced and the flavor will be different.
Ice (optional) – Each serving will use about a 1/4 cup of ice. Ice can be left out if you prefer no ice.
Boba straw (optional) – Ice tends to block the strawberry bits, so using a straw makes it easier to drink the bits. Of course, a straw is optional and can be omitted if ice is not used. I did use a scissors to cut the straw length to better fit the height of the cup, but this is optional.
- 1 to 2 strawberries, about 2 T. fine diced strawberries
- 1/2 cup Strawberry Calpico, about 2 full shot glasses*
- 1/4 cup + 2 T. Strawberry Soju, about 1 1/2 full shot glasses*
- 1/4 cup ice, optional
- 3 T. - 1/4 cup club soda, optional
- In a clear 10 - 12 ounce cup, add in finely diced strawberries. If you have a muddler, use it to smash the strawberries in the cup. If you don't have one, skip this step or use a large wooden spoon to crush some of the strawberries.
- Add ice (optional if ingredients are chilled), strawberry Calpico, strawberry soju. Optional - Add club soda for carbonation.**
- Serve with a large boba straw (cut the bottom of plastic boba straw to fit the cup if needed) if ice cubes were added or without a straw, if no ice was added.
*Note: The shot glass I used will hold 4 T. when filled to the brim. It is the measurements used for this cocktail recipe.
**Note: If adding club soda, you may want to increase the strawberry Calpico to taste.
If you have smaller cups, reduce the measurements: Keep the strawberry measurements the same, 6 T. strawberry soju, 4 T. strawberry soju, 1/4 cup ice, optional - 3 T. club soda or to taste.
Since soju comes in similar flavors as Calpico, you may want to try a peach soju cocktail, lychee soju, or mango soju cocktail.
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