Hello everyone! Today I’d like to introduce you to Subak Soju, a very popular cocktail in Korean bars in America that you can easily make at home. It’s made with soju, which is the #1 distilled beverage in Korea but not well known to the rest of the world. If you can’t find it in a Koreatown near you, you can substitute it with vodka.

The fun thing about subak soju is that you can use the blended flesh of the watermelon to make your drink and use the watermelon shell to serve it in — nothing is wasted! The first time I ever tried something like this was at one of my favorite Korean bars in Manhattan, Pocha 32. They make it from half of a large watermelon that everyone at the table can share together, not with small watermelons like I do in this video.

Whichever method you use, the ratio of soju to blended watermelon is 1:1. People love the floating ice and the delicious watermelon in this drink – it’s sweet, cold, and very refreshing. But be careful! It tastes very fruity but there’s a lot of alcohol inside!

This video was filmed at the Tastemade kitchen studios in Los Angeles with Hilah of Hilahcooking. Jimmy Wong of Feast of Fiction also stopped by for a drink. Check out their channels and subscribe to them, they are all pretty cool.

Ingredients (Serves 4-8)

  • 2 small seedless watermelons, kept in the fridge
  • 2 bottles of soju, kept in the fridge (about 4 cups’ worth)
  • 2 cups of ice cubes


  1. Cut off the top of watermelon. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and put it in a blender. Set aside the watermelon bowls.watermelonwatermelon
  2. Blend the watermelon flesh for 1 minute, until smooth.
  3. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the blended watermelon through it. Press down with a spoon to strain it well. Discard the pulp. Remove the foam from the top with a spoon.sojuwatermelon cocktailsojuwatermelon
  4. Measure 4 cups of blended watermelon juice and put it into a pitcher. Add 4 cups of soju and mix well.subaksoju
  5. Pour the mixture into the watermelon bowl and add ice cubes.sojuwatermelon
  6. Serve cold with a green onion pancake.


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  1. cosimaluise Germany joined 3/19 & has 6 comments

    I made this recipe this summer, but never posted it on here even though it was super good and very refreshing :) Instead of blending all the watermelon I used a melon baller to make some cute little balls. I also once made this with lemonade instead of Soju, which was also very good. Thank you for the recipe :)

    See full size image

  2. lisadurbkin California joined 5/17 & has 1 comment

    How far in advance can I make this cocktail? Will it sit (without ice cubes) in the fridge for 2 hours or more before it’s consumed without its flavor being affected? THANKS!

  3. jaywshin United Kingdom joined 8/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Thank you for this video. I made this for my engagement party yesterday, you can have a look at the photo here!

    I love your channel! I’m a korean born and raised in London – My 엄마 loves your show too!

    Jay xx

  4. ChefetteRama Missouri, America joined 7/14 & has 2 comments

    What can you use as a substitute of the soju? Is there such thing as a cheonyeo subag soju?

  5. Zulumom Concord, CA joined 9/13 & has 35 comments

    I am totally going to make this for the next party! I’m Korean from Korea and started to cook Korean food less and less living in California. After I found your web site I started to make more Korean foods using your recipes. They are great! I’m having a girls night next Saturday and going to make Kongnamulbab, fried chicken gizzards and this subak soju!!! Love you, Maangchi!!!

  6. korea4me South Korea joined 10/09 & has 55 comments

    You were all getting very merry there. Ha ha! Yes, I love those ice fruity soju drinks, too, but you gotta share them with friends. ㅎㅎㅎ

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