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Chingu founders, Imply Mule accomplice for KC’s first soju — a Korean nod to vodka, distilled with tradition


Staff member
Mar 21, 2024
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Serial foodpreneurs Keeyoung Kim and David Son are launching the Midwest’s first domestically distilled premium soju — a pays homage to the traditions of soju, however embraces a brand new period of cocktail tradition.

Via a partnership with Imply Mule Distilling Co., the primary launch of Chingu Soju will probably be simply 15-20 instances of the product.


Chingu Soju, a partnership between Chingu and Imply Mule Distilling Co., with mannequin packaging developed by Kansas Metropolis designer Frank Norton; photograph by Alyssa Broadus

“We started dreaming about creating our personal soju in 2020,” mentioned Kim, referring to the clear, colorless, rice-based Korean distilled alcoholic beverage, which regularly is known as “Korean vodka.” “It began as a enjoyable, home-distilling challenge through the pandemic, however after a dialog with our associates at Imply Mule, it felt like this may very well be an actual risk to make this accessible in KC.”

The co-founders of the restaurant Chingu, Kim and Son crafted Chingu Soju utilizing the identical three components used centuries in the past, they mentioned, leading to a candy, floral spirit that’s good to sip on neat or in a cocktail.

Click on here to start exploring Chingu Soju.

The duo goals to share the wealthy historical past of soju with Midwesterners, and past, they added.

“Our imaginative and prescient is an extension of what we got down to do with Sura Eats and Chingu Restaurant — to coach KC about Korean tradition whereas offering areas the place long-time associates and new acquaintances can proceed to determine group,” Kim mentioned. “‘Make associates with meals/drink/espresso’ has a enjoyable double that means — construct friendship whereas consuming and consuming, and construct familiarity with food and drinks which may be unfamiliar to some. We hope to honor the standard strategies of distilling and having fun with soju in addition to showcasing the flexibility of soju with mixers and in cocktails.”

RELATED: Chingu Espresso blends ‘aware of not-so-familiar’ in a store that embraces its neighbors alongside Korean heritage


Keeyoung Kim, Chingu, Chingu Soju; photograph by Alyssa Broadus

Kim hopes to introduce the standard Korean spirit to a brand new viewers in an approachable format.

The bar menu at Chingu in Westport tender launched a cocktail menu that includes the spirit March 23, with a full menu rollout deliberate for April 2. The curated cocktail menu will present shoppers a possibility to attempt the spirit and see how it may be used of their residence bar. The Chingu Soju menu can even function soju mixers, usually seen in Korean eating places and bars in different cities, served in carafes with 2oz glasses for company to pour and luxuriate in at their tables.

The Chingu Soju recipe begins with three components: rice, nuruk (fermentation starter), and water. The rice is milled to a rough texture and cooked with the opposite components on low warmth. It’s then cooled to room temperature to start the two-week fermentation course of, and ends in Korean rice wine (makgeolli), a spirit that has been consumed for hundreds of years in Korea. The liquid is then separated from the remaining sediment and is distilled a single time in a copper nonetheless to provide the soju.

“Keeyoung has unbelievable style,” mentioned Tyler Gloe, distiller at Imply Mule Distilling Co. “We had been thrilled to make this challenge a actuality for him. We put our heads collectively to give you Kansas Metropolis’s first soju, and we imagine it’s actually going to make a splash!”

Chingu Soju will quickly be accessible at retailers round Kansas Metropolis, beginning with restricted bottles accessible for buy at Chingu Westport on April 2. The product is a 750mL bottle with an ABV of 40 p.c.
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