Week 15 in the Year of Drinking Adventurously. Soju.
I am in a funk all around, the last week or so. My post is reflective of that mood. Speaking metaphorically, I feel like I’m traversing the Pacific in a sailing ship and hitting the doldrums.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea! – Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Maybe it’s the crappy weather hanging on too long. We had wet snow on Saturday! Maybe it’s the fact that my wanderlust is in overdrive. I really need to get out of here. I have plans for a road trip in May but it feels like forever away. So I had a little trouble mustering enthusiasm for this week’s entry: Soju from Korea. And the folks at the liquor store are whispering and pointing when I come in to shop these days. “Psst. It’s that lady that buys all the weird booze.” Hey, you guys stock it so…
It was exactly like Jeff’s book described – “a slightly sweet spirit… with a more pronounced hit of ethanol on the nose than in shochu.” First, I tried sipping it straight so as to get the full flavor of the soju. I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve had before. Next, I tried making a cocktail. Which, if you’ve been following along, you know is really not my thing. Nevertheless, according to the book soju works well in the same kind of cocktails you’d make with vodka so…
Soju blossom – invented by me!
In a shaker with ice:
1 1/2 oz soju
1 1/2 oz vodka (I added vodka for the extra kick, but you don’t have to, just double the soju)
juice of 2 oranges (Use fresh juice, it’s soooo much nicer!)
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Serve in a Martini glass with fresh orange peel.
Very refreshing. And the drink is sort of healthy with the juice and ginger. I was thinking maybe infusing it with honeydew might be an idea… “for he on honeydew hath fed, and drunk the milk of Paradise.” Kubla Khan – Samuel Talor Coleridge
So this has nothing to do with soju, but I’m on a roll here…
The English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and I share a birthday which I think is pretty cool. He is one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in the 1700s. His most famous work, besides Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the long poem, Christobel, is the fragmented poem Kubla Khan which came to him during an opium dream. The poem is famously unfinished thanks to an untimely knock at of Coleridge’s door, interrupting the stream of consciousness and losing the rest of the words to the wind. I was slightly obsessed with Kubla Khan as a teenager because the RUSH song Xanadu was inspired by it. I used to be able to recite the entire thing.
In Xanadu, did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph the sacred river ran
Through the caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea…
I hope this post wasn’t too weird for you. I’ll snap out of it. Promise. And don’t forget to check out Lula‘s adventures with soju!