Poktanju, the refreshing and boozy Korean bomb shot, was in the news recently. It had to do with a dinner hosted by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeo for Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday. The objective of the dinner was to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Reportedly, the planned menu featured poktanju which has been popularised by K-dramas, such as A Business Proposal and Work Later, Party Now. A Bloomberg story published on May 7, however, refuted rumours by stating ‘Alcohol Shots Not on Menu for Japan-South Korea Leaders’ Meeting’. Instead, they sipped on the traditional Korean clear rice wine, cheongju. According to the website The Japan News, “The meal featured charcoal-grilled Korean beef and Korean pancake made with premium fish, as well as traditional dishes such as gujeolpan and japchae. The two leaders also enjoyed Korea’s finest cold sake, according to Japanese and South Korean sources.”
Whatever the case, the poktanju was brought into the limelight.
The Korean bomb shot follows the same formula as the classic cocktail the Boilermaker. It’s a beer-based drink served with a shot of liquor; be it tequila, vodka or rum. One can choose to stir and mix; drop the shot glass into the beer mug; or have the shot and chase it down with beer. The Korean version usually drops the shot of soju into the beer, like a Jägerbomb. The website, honestfoodtalks, advises that the best combination would be soju with Korean beer, but if the latter isn’t available, a lager, pilsner or any light beer would be a good option. One can turn it into a game by placing two chopsticks on the glass containing beer. Then place the soju shot on the chopsticks, slide them out like a block of Jenga and drink up. To know how it’s done, watch this video.