The biggest hard alcohol drinkers on the globe aren’t from Germany, Russia, or Ukraine. In fact, the biggest spirit drinkers are sipping on Soju, astoundingly in South Korea.
South Koreans drink an average of 13.7 shots of liquor per week on average, which is more than anywhere else. And of 44 other countries analyzed by Euromonitor, none comes anywhere close to South Korea. The Russians, the second biggest in Euromonitor’s sample, drink approximately 6.3 shots per week; Filipinos drink roughly 5.4 shots per week; and U.S. Americans consume only 3.3.
South Korea’s unparalleled liquor consumption is almost entirely due to the country’s love for their traditional rice spirit called Soju. The South Korean liquor accounts for about 97% of the country’s spirits market.
South Korea’s alarming alcohol consumption has led to outbreaks of drunken violence, and prompted its ministry of health and welfare to launch a marketing campaign in 2011 in the hope of steering its citizens clear of heavy drinking.
“A problem with the way South Koreans drink is that they drink fast to get drunk fast,” an official from Korean Alcohol Research Foundation told the New York Times back in 2012.