Difference Between Sake and Soju


Main Difference

Alcoholic drinks are not just famous in Europe but also in Asian regions which have introduced their own types of drinks which have become famous not only in those countries but also in other parts of the world. Sake and Soju are two drinks which are famous in Japan and Korea respectively and have the main difference of ingredients. Soju is prepared with ingredients in which the primary grain used is rice along with barley, wheat or sweet potatoes. Sake, on the other hand, is also made by fermenting rice in which fungus and yeast are added to produce the mixture.

Comparison Chart

Originated from Japan way back in the year 712 ADOriginated from South Korea in the 13th century.
Alcohol Content
Around 18-20%Around 20-40%
Main ingredient
Other ingredients
Yeast and FungusWheat, Barley and Sweet Potatoes.
Famous Brands
Junmai Daiginjō-shu, Daiginjō-shu, Tokubetsu Junmai-Shu, and Honjōzō-shu.Jinro, Chum-Churum, Joeunday Soju, Chamisul, and Cham.
Prepared by milling rice to convert it into starch and then adding fungus to turn into sugar and then adding yeast to produce liquid form.Developed by adding water with rice and adding wheat or barley in the mixture.


This is a drink which has originated from Japan and is famous for its taste in the country and nearby regions. It is made by the fermentation of rice and is usually known as a type of wine but in actual it is really different from the real type of alcoholic drinks. This is because of the reason that the ratio of spirit in this is much higher than the other models. The sake has a lot of starch in it, and that is because the rice which is used for the process is milled properly. Then the whole solution is converted into sugar with the help of fungus which is added at a later stage. In the last stage, this sugar is allowed to be fermented with the aid of yeast to give it the taste it has. The process is carried out in a proper way because this is the main reason people like to enjoy the drink, which is the taste. It comes from how well the fermentation has been carried out, there is a significant aroma and taste which sake has. The exact quantity of rice which is added in the mixture is also an important factor because the more the rice is milled, the better and clear the flavor of the drink will be. There is another factor involved which is the addition of the company alcohol to the fermented mixture and care must be taken to ensure that the originality of the content remains the same. The process is important to still since it increases the expiry date of the solution for several more months.



This can be termed as the main competitor of the Japanese drink, Sake and is known as Soju. It has been originated from South Korea and is famous among people of the country and world across. It is the distillation of rice which gives it the proper taste and has high amounts of alcohol added to the mixture which makes it one of the most famous drinks. It has a taste which is similar to the most rice based ones, but the combination of it with other ingredients is the thing which makes it unique. They include barley and potatoes which are added in an appropriate amount of the content. It has around 20% alcohol contained in the mixture and has been made for over 700 years now. The other reason it is famous among people is the low price which is the main reason that in 2004 around 3 billion bottles of this drink were consumed just in Korea. It is that reason and the clear and distinct taste because of which it has become Korea’s most famous alcoholic beverage, and on average around 71 million cases are sold worldwide. There are two main ways of making it, the first one is the traditional one in which one distillation process is used to increase the ratio of alcohol which is the combination of various forms of grains in which the main one is rice. The second process is the modern one in which manufacturing techniques are used to distil the grade ethanol to produce the brand. There are many brands which sell this type of liquor, but all have the same ingredients with the main difference just in the sweeteners.

Key Differences

  1. Sake is the drink which has originated from Japan way back in the year 712 AD while the drink Soju had been originated from South Korea in the 13th century.
  2. The amount of alcoholic content in Soku is around 18-20% while the amount of alcohol in Soju is around 15-40%.
  3. Sake is a drink which is made with the help of rice mostly while Soju is a drink which is made by mixing rice with other grains such as barley, wheat, and sweet potatoes.
  4. Sweeteners are added in Soju to give it a distinct and variable taste while color is added in Sake to give it some other variation since the color remains the same.
  5. Soju is more famous around the world and has less cost while Sake is more famous in Japan but is costly.
  6. The main types of Soju drinks include Jinro, Chum-Churum, Joeunday Soju, Chamisul, and Cham. While the main types of Sake include Junmai Daiginjō-shu, Daiginjō-shu, Tokubetsu Junmai-Shu and Honjōzō-shu.
  7. Sake is prepared by milling rice to convert it into starch and then adding fungus to turn into sugar and then adding yeast to produce liquid form while Soju is made by adding water to rice and adding wheat or barley in the mixture.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss