Ways To Say Cheers In Korean

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you planning a trip to Korea and want to impress the locals with your knowledge of their language and culture? One way to do that is by learning how to say cheers in Korean. In this article, we will explore the different ways to say cheers in Korean, as well as other drinking customs and traditions in the country.

From the popular Ganbei to the enthusiastic Geonbae and the encouraging Jumun, we will cover it all.

We will also dive into the world of traditional Korean liquors like Soju, Makgeolli, and Bokbunja, and even teach you the art of mixing beer and Soju with Somaek.

So, whether you’re planning a night out with friends or attending a business dinner, knowing the right phrases and customs will help you navigate the Korean drinking scene with ease.

So, let’s raise our glasses and say cheers the Korean way!

Ganbei – Cheers in Korean

Ganbei, meaning ‘Cheers’ in Korean, is the perfect expression to raise your glass and toast to good times with friends. This traditional phrase is deeply rooted in Korean culture, reflecting the importance of camaraderie and celebration.

When you say Ganbei, you not only express your gratitude but also show respect for Korean customs.

So, next time you’re enjoying a drink with Korean friends, remember to raise your glass and say Ganbei!

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Geonbae – Bottoms Up!

To truly enjoy a traditional Korean drinking experience, embrace the spirit of Geonbae and raise your glass with enthusiasm! Geonbae, which translates to ‘bottoms up,’ is a popular way to say cheers in Korean.

When someone says Geonbae, it is customary to finish your drink in one gulp. This gesture shows respect and camaraderie among friends.

So, next time you’re out with Korean friends, remember to embrace Geonbae and enjoy the moment!

Jumun – Drink Up!

Embrace the vibrant drinking culture in Korea by familiarizing yourself with the concept of Jumun and indulging in the lively atmosphere.

Jumun, meaning ‘drink up’ in Korean, is a popular way to say cheers and encourage everyone to enjoy their drinks together. It represents the camaraderie and unity that comes with sharing a drink.

So, raise your glass, shout Jumun, and join in the fun-filled drinking traditions of Korea. Cheers!

Yumul – Empty Your Glass!

If you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in the lively drinking culture of Korea, don’t forget to shout ‘Yumul’ and empty your glass with the locals.

Yumul, meaning ’empty your glass,’ is a traditional way of expressing camaraderie and respect during drinking sessions.

By participating in this custom, you’ll not only show your appreciation for Korean culture but also establish a deeper connection with the people around you.

So raise your glass, shout ‘Yumul,’ and enjoy the vibrant drinking experience in Korea. Cheers!

An-joo – Drinking Snack Pairings

Don’t forget to indulge in the delicious an-joo, the perfect accompaniment to your drinks, for a truly authentic and enjoyable drinking experience in Korea.

An-joo refers to the variety of snacks and dishes that are commonly enjoyed alongside alcoholic beverages. From crispy fried chicken to savory seafood pancake, there is a wide range of options to choose from.

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These an-joo not only enhance the flavor of your drinks but also provide a satisfying and enjoyable dining experience.

Hweshik – Office Drinking Culture

The office drinking culture in Korea is known as hweshik. Colleagues gather together to bond and socialize over drinks and food. Hweshik is an important part of Korean corporate culture. It helps build camaraderie and strengthen relationships among coworkers.

Typically, the most senior person at the table will initiate the first toast. It is customary to say ‘geonbae’ or ‘ganbei’ before taking a sip.

Hweshik events often include traditional Korean dishes and plenty of soju, a popular alcoholic beverage in Korea.

Soju – Korea’s Most Popular Liquor

Imagine yourself in Korea, sitting at a bustling bar surrounded by locals, and the bartender hands you a glass of soju – a clear, potent liquor that holds the title of Korea’s most beloved drink.

Soju, with its 16-20% alcohol content, is traditionally made from rice, but can also be made from other grains. It has a smooth, slightly sweet taste that pairs perfectly with Korean cuisine.

Soju plays a significant role in Korean drinking culture and is often enjoyed during social gatherings and celebrations.

Makgeolli – Traditional Rice Wine

Now that you’re familiar with soju, let’s explore another popular drink in Korea – makgeolli.

This traditional rice wine has been enjoyed by Koreans for centuries. Made from fermented rice, makgeolli has a milky appearance and a slightly sweet and tangy taste.

It’s often served in a traditional bowl and enjoyed with savory Korean dishes.

So, the next time you’re in Korea, don’t forget to raise your glass and say ‘Geonbae!’

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Bokbunja – Korean Raspberry Wine

Indulge yourself in the rich and vibrant flavors of Bokbunja, a delightful Korean raspberry wine that will leave you craving for more.

Made from hand-picked raspberries, Bokbunja offers a unique blend of sweetness and tartness, creating a truly refreshing and enjoyable drinking experience.

This traditional Korean wine has a deep crimson color and a smooth texture. It is commonly enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any gathering.

Somaek – Mixing Beer and Soju

Combining the crispness of beer with the smoothness of soju, somaek creates an irresistible fusion that elevates your drinking experience to new heights. In Korean culture, somaek is a popular way to enjoy a night out with friends.

To make somaek, simply pour a shot of soju into a glass of beer. The result is a refreshing and flavorful drink that perfectly balances the sweetness of soju with the bubbly bitterness of beer.

So next time you’re in Korea, don’t forget to try somaek and join in on the lively cheers of ‘geonbae!’


In conclusion, knowing how to say cheers in Korean is not only a fun way to immerse yourself in the culture, but it also shows respect and appreciation for the local customs. Whether it’s shouting ‘Ganbei’ or ‘Geonbae’ while raising your glass, or using phrases like ‘Jumun’ and ‘Yumul’ to encourage everyone to drink up, these expressions will surely enhance your drinking experience.

And don’t forget to pair your drinks with some delicious An-joo (drinking snacks) to complete the Korean drinking tradition. So go ahead, try some Soju, Makgeolli, Bokbunja, or even mix it up with Somaek, and cheers to a memorable time in Korea!