Jinro Is The Life of Man

For those of you who aren’t Irish, or are ignorant in the history of your own music, the title of the post is a parody of an Irish song which states that “Whiskey is the life of man…” I don’t know how, but I made the mistake of telling Sean about a beverage I enjoy, and now every time I talk to him, he tries to incorporate it into a rap song, pop culture reference, or political discussion. Background:
2001: I am in Kita Kumamoto, Japan, for Yama Sakura (Mount Cherry Blossom) XXIX. Each night, the American and Japanese soldiers meet together in the “Friendship Hall” to sing karaoke, interact with their international officemates from the exercise, and get hammid. My cell consisted of me, three E5s, two E4s, and a Japanese LTC and CSM who didn’t like us. (They came to like us later, but it doesn’t fit into the story.) Each night, in the spirit of international friendship, I would buy a case of beer in the miniature American shoppette, take it to a random table full of Japanese soldiers, slap it down, and say, “Hajimemashite! Watashi no nomae wa Shane Corcoran desu! Kampai!” (Nice to meet you. My name is Shane Corcoran. Cheers!). They would then start spouting off in English and throwing back beers. You see, Japanese soldiers had to pay mad loot for beers, maybe 2-3 dollars a bottle, whilst we Americans could buy a case of Miller light for five dollars (no shit)! Something to do with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) or whatevah. Anyway, just as we could get beer mad cheap, my Nihonjin brothers could get Soju (shoju, shochu) mad cheap – and you know them: a gift received means a gift must be returned. For 7 nights, during the trainup for the exercise itself, it was a non-stop party. I could go on ad nauseum with funny stories about cultural misunderstandings, karaokes mishaps, and Japanese privates hitting on American captains, but I shan’t. Here is the essence of this long tirade:

One night, we ran out of cheap beer (which the Japanese soldiers loved), so we had to resort to drinking Soju, a Korean liquor which is made from rice, but is nothing like sake. The soldiers of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force seemed almost ashamed to be giving us this stuff, but they taught me a valuable lesson. Put some soju into a Diet Coke. Drink. Let time pass in a fun way. Stand up to go back to your sleeping quarters, and realize you are friggin’ hammid! My strange love of soju began then.

2001-2005: Stupidity and love of beer and beer alone.

2005+: After working with (but not drinking with) Korean soldiers in Afghanistan, I remembered the strange kick of Soju from Japan, and decided to explore it when I again came to Hawaii. In all seriousness, one can drink half a bottle of Soju, feel pissah, and not realize they are drunk until they try to stand up to take a pee and fall over. Since I’ve been back and able to drink, I have reacquainted myself with my favoritest drink (besides Harpoon IPA): Diet Coke and Soju. Try for yourself:

Empty 16 oz. glass

(1) 12-oz. Can of Diet Coke

(3) ice cubes

Jinro Shoju to top of glass

Put them together and stir them with a chopstick. (I don’t know if they use chopsticks in Korea, but they use them in Japan where I first sampled the drink, so I keep the tradition up for the sake of diplomacy.)

What is Jinro? Oh, it’s a bottle of 24% Alcohol by Volume (48 proof) Korean Soju that costs less than 10$US here in Hawaii, mixes so well with Diet Coke that it makes it taste like unsticky regular Coke, and gives you a lovely feeling of buzz with no identifiable hangover. Was it worth reading that long bullshit I just wrote to get a drink recipe that consists of four lines? I dunno. Make a Jinro/Diet Coke cocktail and tell me.

(The category is ‘drunken posting’, but I actually can’t drink Soju for another week or two. This should be categorized as RoxiPosting, but I don’t feel like making a one-off category.)

~ by kinshay on 2006-03-23.

No Responses Yet to “Jinro Is The Life of Man”

  1. I’ve only recently discover soju myself. It is a strange and frightening spirit. The stuff I sampled basically tasted like water with an ever-so-slight alcohol overlay. Very scary.

    Fun fact: Did you know soju can range anywhere from 40 to 90 proof? Wikipedia tells me it’s true.

    Also, this is a great bit of propaganda from the Jinro site:

    You can enjoy pure taste without the burden of hangovers due to it’s containing asparagine and affulent minerals.

  2. It ain’t propaganda, mein freund. You may feel funky after a night with Mr. Jinro, but it can’t properly be called a hangover.

  3. I LOVE when dakine has free time, wife outta town and on drugs.

  4. DON’T call him on it! These are some of the best posts evah.

  5. […] We killed a (half-full) bottle of Soju at the end of the night, which was probably a silly idea… […]

  6. Suntory, You’re The Divil…

    A while back I read an article about Japanese single malt whiskey being the shit these days, so when I stumbled upon a bottle of Suntory Yamazaki 12 year-old single malt whiskey in a liquor store recently, I went ahead and plunked down the requested $3…

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