Korean spirits brand Jinro Soju has agreed a UK distribution deal with supplier Hi-Spirits.
Jinro Soju, which is produced in South Korea, sells 63 million cases a year, and has been the world's best-selling spirit consistently for the past six years.
It is a 25% abv white spirit which can be used as a base for cocktails and long drinks. The brand has been produced since 1926, and is now sold in more than 80 countries.
Distilled from a blend of grain including rice and wheat, and then filtered through bamboo charcoal, Jinro Soju has a smooth, clean taste and a neutral flavour profile which makes it widely used by cocktail bartenders and mixologists around the world.
Jeremy Hill, chairman of Hi-Spirits, said: "Jinro Soju is a great addition to our portfolio. We've demonstrated time and again that we can reposition spirits previously thought to be niche categories into the mainstream of the drinks industry, and we see a huge opportunity for Jinro Soju.
"With a lower abv than other ‘clean' spirits, such as vodka, it can be used to create a wide range of cocktails and mixed drinks, from classics such as mojitos and martinis to bartenders' own signature drinks. It's ideal for customers looking for lower-alcohol options, while the lower rate of duty also makes it a very cost-effective way to serve mixed drinks.
"Aperitif-strength drinks have traditionally been brands with very distinctive flavours. At 25% abv, the neutral flavour of Jinro Soju allows customers the versatility to make a much wider range of mixed drinks. When combined with a mixer or fruit juice, the abv of a Jinro Soju drink is roughly the same as that of a glass of wine, making it an ideal accompaniment to food."
In its home country, Jinro Soju is often served ice cold on its own, or mixed with flavours such as apple and ginger and enjoyed as an accompaniment to spicy barbecued Korean dishes.
By Neil Gerrard
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