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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Soju by bottle for customers in Virginia, USA

Some reverted googling (going to see the google searches from one's sitemeter referrals) brought to my attention this piece of news from Virginia, USA: a law has been passed which allows soju to be served by bottle. The legislation has prohibited the serving of alcohol in its original bottle (we have the same thing here), which as everybody who has drunk soju with Koreans does not correspond to the Korean drinking manners.

From the Alcholic Beverage Control Act of the State of Virginia:
§ 4.1-325 amended.
Alcoholic beverage control; prohibited acts by mixed beverage licensees; exception.
Allows a mixed beverage licensee to serve or deliver, or both, "soju" (a Korean alcoholic beverage) to a consumer in its original bottle. The bill defines "soju." HB 805; CH. 913.
Another quotation from Virginia legislation documents; wonder if the following means that sake was first going to be included in the "soju exeption". I don't see sake included in the final legislation.
The provisions of this subdivision [of prohibiting the sale of alcohol in its original bottle] shall not apply to the delivery of "soju" [ or "sake." . ] For the purposes of the previous sentence, [ (i) ] "soju" means a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, barley or other grains [ and (ii) "sake" means a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice ] ;

Went to a Chinese restaurant in Helsinki last month with a group of visiting Koreans; the waiter was ready to sell us a bottle of the Chinese koryangju (the Korean pronunciation), without the Koreans asking for it. I don't know if he was unaware of the legislation or just chose to ignore it, perhaps the former as he didn't speak Finnish and was apparently a newcomer.

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