Drinking remained a popular pastime in Korea this year, and Koreans in their 20s and 30s drank mixed liquor, called poktanju, the most, a consumption survey by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety showed Thursday.
Consumption of somaek, a combination of beer and soju, increased most notably in 30-year somethings by 11.6 percent from last year and by 5.6 percent for those in their 20s.
The mixed drink was more popular in the younger generations than the old. Men also drank it more than women.
According to the survey, most people drank somaek because it lightened up the party (23 percent), tasted better than existing drinks (22 percent), was drunk at company events (19 percent), recommended by others (15 percent), and made them drunk quickly (7.7 percent).
The survey also showed people drank more than what they thought was okay.
Around 60 percent said they drank to excess in the past six months. By type of beverage, people drank an average of six shots of soju, five glasses of beer, three cups of rice wine, three shots of fruit wine, and four shots of whiskey.
Ironically, most respondents said their actual consumption exceeded what they thought was a good amount. Most believed four shots of soju, four glasses of beer, two cups of rice wine, and two shots of fruit wine was appropriate.
Respondents said they probably drank more because they got caught up in the moment or because others gave them drinks.
Many people across all age groups drank to excess, with those in their 30s doing so the most with 66 percent, followed by 20-year-olds (63 percent), 40-year-olds (59 percent), 50-year-olds (52 percent), and 60-year-olds (49 percent).
More Koreans are also drinking imported or hand-made beer, data showed. Around 66 percent drank imported beer in the past six months, indicating an 11 percent increase from last year.
Overall, beer was the leading consumed beverage with 94 percent, followed by soju (80 percent), and rice wine (39 percent). A majority of 91 percent said they drank at least once in the last six months.
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