From Korea with Love

"I carry your heart with me… always."


Citron-flavored Soju, Anyone?

I just found out last week that we are going to have 회식 (hwesik) before summer break, and I am kind of nervous about it. Hwesik is when colleagues dine and drink together, more like an after-work party. I looove parties, but hwesik is something that I don’t look forward to for one simple reason: I don’t like feeling pressured to drink. Sure, I can refuse when offered soju, but I don’t want to be a party pooper or be deemed rude.

I told my husband my dilemma while we were having lunch outside. Being the helpful husband that he usually is, he ordered citron-flavored soju for me and suggested that I try it. If I can take the taste of flavored soju, I don’t have to worry about staying away from alcohol the entire hwesik night.  It turns out that flavored soju is not as horrible-tasting for me as regular soju.


순하리 처음 처럼 유자 (Soonhari Chum Churum Yuja) means soft or mild citrus-flavored soju.

Flavored soju has an alcohol content of 14 percent, whereas regular soju contains 20 percent of alcohol (traditional soju is even higher at 40-45 percent), so if you are not a heavy drinker and you just want to make it out of hwesik alive, go for the flavored soju instead.  For the first time, I was able to have more than 5 shots of soju today without feeling queasy. Flavored soju still has that bitter aftertaste, but it’s overpowered by the sapidity of citron and it’s a bit sweet, more like a cocktail. I prefer real cocktails, of course, but it’s highly unlikely that they will serve cocktails during hwesik, so flavored soju will do.

Muhak, Korea’s third largest soju producer, came up with other flavors of soju. Besides citron, they also have pomegranate and blueberry, which I have yet to try.

Fruit-flavored soju, also known as mixju (mixed soju), has become more popular among women and young drinkers since the release of its pioneer, Lotte Liquor’s Soonhari, on March 20. According to Korea JoongAng Daily, Lotte Liquor is now selling 170,000 bottles per day, or two per second. Imagine that! ^^ Just like that time when honey butter chips became a food trend in Korea, flavored soju quickly turned viral. No wonder my Kakao Story was full of shares of photos of this new product for the past months. My husband and I don’t care much about food trends. Believe it or not, we don’t even like honey butter chips. Flavored soju, however, is a trend that we both appreciate, because now whenever there is a special occasion wherein I have to accept a glass of soju from a family member or a Korean friend, I don’t have to refuse the drink and embarrass the other person. I can just request for mixju.

Meanwhile, here is an awesome Soonhari ad:

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Nature Republic’s BB Cream for Men

I saw this BB cream for men while I was shopping for pasalubong (gift) in Nature Republic. It was on sale, along with sunscreen, so I was thinking of buying a set for my uncle who is crazy about Korean cosmetics… but when I dabbed a little of the sample on my hand, I figured that he would not use it, because it’s tinted and creamy just like any regular BB cream. Since men don’t usually wear make up, I was expecting a different kind of BB cream for them, maybe one that doesn’t have much of the color of a typical BB cream and with thinner consistency, but Nature Republic’s BB cream for men is not that different from the BB cream women use.

The two smallet blots are samples of BB cream for women, while the bigger blot is BB cream for men.

The blot in the middle is BB cream for men, while the two are BB cream for women. They have the same consistency.


Nature Republic’s Pleasure Garden Sports BB cream for Men has only one shade, but it has a higher SPF. The regular price in Korea is around 11.20 USD.

I was told that a lot of young men in Korea use BB cream to get that flawless K-pop idol look. I remember watching a Korean TV show once that featured a Korean man addicted to it. On Youtube, you will find several videos of men talking about their favorite BB cream.

Who says BB cream is only for women?

If you would like to start using BB cream but you have never worn make up your whole life, this tutorial will help you with the basics. ^^