When I hang out with my friend group, we like to try to pair food or drinks to what we’re watching, and with some of us really getting into Korean dramas (K-dramas) lately, that’s meant we’ve been getting into soju, a Korean spirit. Soju is similar to vodka in that it has little to no taste (and sometimes we use it in place of vodka in a cocktail), but comes in at about half the alcohol percentage of vodka, making it an easier drink.
Earlier today I posted my Orange Soju recipe. Typically I make two batches—one orange and one grapefruit.
Here’s how to make grapefruit soju.
The ingredients are pretty simple. Two bottles of soju, two grapefruit, and sugar. After taking this photo I decided to add a lemon to it as well.
Finding soju can be tricky. Some places don’t carry it and then places that do carry it will put it in odd places since it doesn’t really fit anywhere. Here in Manitoba, our government-owned Liquor Marts are inconsistent with where they place it. One store has it with the whiskey, another has it with the sake, and yet another has it with the liqueurs, so I always have to ask the staff where to find it.
Making grapefruit soju—which is basically an infused drink—is ridiculously easy.
Simply cut up the grapefruit and lemon. I usually cut in quarters and then slice. The thinner and smaller the pieces are, the easier it will be for the juice to come out. At the same time, though, you don’t want to spend a lot of time dicing this up into tiny pieces.
Throw the fruit in a bowl and weigh it with a kitchen scale (being sure to hit the “tare” or “zero” button after putting the bowl on it, but before putting the fruit in it. Once you’ve got a weight, you’ll want to add half that weight of sugar.
Give it all a good stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, and then transfer the sugary fruit to a large jar or pitcher. Scrape out all the sugar with a spatula so you get it all in the jar.
Pour the two bottles of soju in, then give it all a good stir, and cover it and let it sit.
You’ll get sugar settling on the bottom and that’s normal. You can just let it sit on the counter for about a week and all that sugar will dissolve. If you want, you can speed up the process a bit by stirring or shaking it daily. Once it’s all dissolved, strain it. While straining, give the fruit a gentle press with the back of a spoon to extract more juice and alcohol.
From there, you simply bottle and enjoy!
We often serve it at room temperature, but serving it chilled is nice too.
As I posted in my orange soju post, I recently came up with an easy cocktail for this:
- 5 oz grapefruit soju
- 2.5 oz club soda
- Mix in a glass with ice
If you have both grapefruit and orange soju on hand (I usually make them both at once), you could also use half orange and half grapefruit.
Drinking it straight, while definitely enjoyable, is a little too sweet and syrupy for my tastes, so the cocktail thins it out a bit and makes it a lot more drinkable.
- 1 Large jar or pitcher
- 1 Food scale
- 720 ml Soju
- 2 Grapefruit
- 1 Lemon
- Slice the grapefruit and lemon into small pieces. I usually quarter them, then slice the quarters.
- Place a bowl on the digital scale and press the "tare" or "zero" button. Add the grapefruit and lemon slices to get a weight for the fruit.
- Press the "tare" or "zero" button again. Add in half the weight of sugar. (If the fruit weighed 800 grams, add 400 grams of sugar.)
- Mix the fruit and sugar with a spatula or large spoon. Once well mixed, transfer the fruit and sugar to a very large jar or pitcher. I use a spatula to get as much sugar as possible from the bowl into the jar.
- Pour the soju on top and stir until well mixed.
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for approximately a week. For the first few days, a layer of sugar will likely settle on the bottom, but will slowly dissolve. You can speed up this process by stirring it daily (or shaking it if it's in a jar with a secure lid).
- Once the sugar has dissolved. Strain the soju and lightly press the fruit to extract more juice and alcohol.
- Bottle, chill, and serve. See notes below for serving suggestions.
- Grapefruit soju can be enjoyed straight.
- If the soju is a bit too thick and syrupy for your taste, an easy cocktail is to add 5 oz orange soju and 2.5 oz club soda to a glass filled with ice. This thins out the texture a little bit and the sparkling water makes it feel a little extra special.
- If serving this with a meal, I’d suggest making this a dessert drink.