Mr. Shim, who is currently writing a book about Korea’s drinking culture, said that people here have drunk poktanju as early as the Three Kingdoms period, which ended in 668 AD. But according to urban legend, the current style of poktanju ― beer with a shot of whisky ― made its Korean debut in the early 1980s, at a meeting between prosecutors, policemen and journalists in Chuncheon, Gangwon province. The concoction quickly spread across the country.
Recently, Choi Yoon-hee, a Gangwon lawmaker who became too touchy-feelie after drinking, has probably ended the popularity of the practice.
The “bombshot,” however, has recently come under heavy fire. Leading the charge is Park Jin, a lawmaker in the Grand National Party, who took a hammer to poktanju glasses at the National Assembly to demonstrate his determination to end Korea’s love for poktanju. The stunt was done in reaction to a scandal involving Choi Yeon-hee, a former GNP member, who sexually harassed a woman after downing a number of glasses. Mr. Choi leads a movement to eradicate Korea’s “bombshot culture.”
Still, if you want to sample this part of Gangwon culture, the article inlcudes tips:
A glimpse of how to make boilermakers
1. “The Atomic”A whisky shot is plunked into a glass filled with beer. Foam then puffs up like a mushroom cloud, hence its name. This is the basic boilermaker.
2. “Taekwondo” Fill a glass to the brim with beer, place two chopsticks on top (slightly spread apart), then place whisky shot on top of the chopsticks. Punch the chopsticks to let the whisky drop into the glass.
3. “Golfshot” Place two chopsticks on top of the glass of beer and then the whisky shot glass on top. “Putt” the whisky shot into the beer using another chopstick or a spoon.
4. “The Tornado” Make a basic “Atomic” shot. Cover the glass with a napkin, hold on to the top and then flick it, while extending your arm. The beer will spin around like a tornado. This shot is said to have the smoothest mix. Before downing the contents of the glass, hurl the drenched napkin against a wall or ceiling to hear that satisfying “thwack!”
5. “Sperm” Pour beer into a glass and place a whisky shot inside. Cover the glass with a paper napkin. Shake it lightly ― the napkin should tear very slightly. Pour a little milk in through the hole. One look and you’ll see how it got its name.