Los Angeles looks to be the trial market. Starting in late April, billboards featuring Psy hawking Jinro sprouted up around LA:

Image: via Psy's World

Jinro has also linked up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball team, which may or may not have anything to do with the Dodgers signing Hyun-jin Ryu, the first-ever player from the Korean Baseball Organization to play in the Major Leagues. Regardless, fans sipped Jinro cocktails at home games throughout the season—and they’re proving to be popular fare, considering that the Jinro booth sold out of its original supply within three games of its April debut. (Hite also covered its bases, so to speak,  with a crowd that’s more traditionally into beer by rolling out Hite Dodger Beer.)

And that touches on one of its big strengths. Soju’s 20% or so alcohol content means restaurants don’t need liquor licenses to sell it, even though they can satisfy buzz-hungry customers by simply pouring more of it into a cocktail. But as one bartender on Lost Angeles’ Venice Beach, a popular drinking destination, told NPR, it still has to overcome the lack of “soju” recognition.

“Because of our location, you are getting the people that just want to get wasted, that just want a shot of Jameson. And it’s hard to say, ‘I’m not full liquor [licensed], but I have soju,'” the bartender said. “And it’s like, ‘What language are you speaking?'”

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