You’ve probably heard of a Bloody Mary, a popular cocktail with a base of vodka and tomato juice, plus a host of other weird and wonderful flavourings such as Worcestershire or Tabasco sauce, horseradish, celery, pepper, salt, lemon juice, and so on. It may not sound appetizing but it has plenty of devotees, although that may be more to do with its reputation as a ‘hair of the dog’ hangover cure rather than its taste. But if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try the even more exotic flavours of a spicy Korean kimchi version?

Koreataste.org, an informative site on Korean food and restaurants maintained by the Korea Tourism Organization, has offered up their own version of the classic cocktail. The savoury drink involves a confusing combination of traditional Korean tastes such as kimchi and soju, along with garlic and tomato juice, which sounds suspiciously close to tasting like a pizza topping. Or you can even use a Bloody Mary mix instead of the tomato juice, although this seems like it would kind of defeat the purpose of making this special Korean version in the first place.

So what exactly are the main Korean ingredients? Kimchi is a spicy side dish made from fermented vegetables, often cabbage, and seasoned with a variety of spices. Soju is Korea’s national alcoholic drink, a clear liquor distilled from rice, along with wheat, barley, or sweet potato. Sounds like they’d be perfect together in a drink, right?!

Here’s the recipe, for any brave souls who are thinking of giving it a go. And no, this recipe wasn’t posted on April Fool’s Day, so we can only assume it’s for real.

What you will need:

  • Highball glass
  • 2 ounces of soju (preferably flavourless)
  • 2 ounces of kimchi juice (you can use the excess juice from a tub of kimchi)
  • 4 ounces of tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ice
  • Kimchi stalks/leaves (for garnishing)

1. Crush garlic cloves into a glass.


2. Add 2 ounces of soju.


3. Add the kimchi juice and the salt and pepper.


4. Fill the glass with ice and top up with tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix.


5. Shake or stir, then garnish with kimchi leaves


6. Geon Bae! Kanpai! Cheers!


Comments on the site are mainly along the lines of ‘WTF’ and ‘Are you serious?’, as well as a handful of Koreans lamenting the misguided use of their taxes in promoting this kind of bizarre recipe to foreigners.

Is anyone willing to give this a try and report back, in the name of science?

Source/images: Hachima Kikou, Koreataste