Soju and Makgeolli are taking Brazil by storm thanks to a popular festival hosted by the Korean Cultural Center in Sao Paulo
On Sunday, the Korean Cultural Center in Brazil held its third annual Traditional Korean Alcohol Competition. Out of 116 applicants, nine finalists were selected to compete against one another to produce the best cocktail using Korean traditional alcohol.
Bartenders around greater Brazil showcased their skill in mixing cocktails through submission videos, and the best of the best were selected to create Sool-inspired beverages for the general public. The competition offered cash prizes for the top three cocktails voted by the audience starting at R$2000 ($360 USD), climbing as high as R$7000 ($1260 USD).
In previous years, the event gained traction through the desire to attract the Brazilian palate. The Korean Cultural Center has been responsible for promoting Korean culture, cuisine, and the Hallyu wave since 2013, and the Cocktail Competition has been a celebration of historically renowned Korean alcohol.
The introduction of the competition in 2019 saw first winner Fernando Pinheiro take first place with his cocktail, the "Shikhye Chique". Boasting a sophisticated and fruity flavour, the cocktail contains Shikhye, Soju and Bokbunja as its staple Korean ingredients. At the time of the competition, Fernando was a resident bartender at the Banqueta Bar in Sao Paulo. If you want to check out their skills you can find Fernando's Instagram here, and the Banqueta Bar's Instagram here.
Images taken from the Korean Cultural Center's Instagram, found here.
The success of the first event triggered an even bigger response in 2020. In the second contest out of twelve finalists and stiff competition, Bianca Lima took the prize with her "Absolute Cocktail" which was a mix of Soju and other sweet flavours to embody the South Korean flag. Check out Bianca's Instagram here.
Image taken from the Korean Cultural Center's Instagram, found here.
This event is an exciting venture into Korean alcohol appreciation, and we are looking forward to the next competition hosted by the Korean Cultural Center in Brazil. This year's Cocktail Competition winner is yet to be announced, but as soon as we know, you will too. Stay tuned!