Baijiu

#BarFaithBottleTalk: Baijiu, part 1. Bai jiu is Chinese for "white alcohol" and was the first alcohol I ever tasted (a chopstick dipped in it as a celebratory gesture when I was a toddler ??????). The taste haunted me for decades, until last week, when I spent some time in #Beijing and rediscovered the spirit with my non-infantile palate. ?? . In the Western world, you don't hear much about baijiu, but in China, it is THE spirit. People drink either beer ("pi jiu") or bai jiu (often for festivities/celebrations), and there really isn't much in between (traditionally). . So what is baijiu? Bai jiu is an entire CATEGORY of traditional Chinese distilled spirits made from sorghum and/or other grains. It varies tremendously in flavor and quality depending on the ingredients and production method. You can find many as cheap as <$10 for a liter, or as expensive as many hundred $$$s. . There are 4 main flavor categories of #baijiu that vary dramatically, classified by "aroma": 1?? Rice aroma: made from rice, mild in flavor and slightly reminiscent of Japanese shochu/sake or Korean soju. ? 2?? Light aroma: relatively "clean" in flavor, can be floral/slightly fruity. The one I tried actually reminded me of tequila, but a cheaper one may also be reminiscent of a light rum, vodka, or worse - rubbing alcohol. ?? ? 3?? Strong aroma: this style is highly fragrant, ester-rich, and unique. Think something like a Jamaican white overproof rum or a high-proof mezcal in terms of flavor intensity, but a completely different flavor profile. It's umami/savory, pungent, spicy, yet still fruity and unlike anything else. ? 4?? Sauce aroma: this is an even more intriguing version of strong aroma, equally intense in flavor (think: *super* pungent Jamaican rum funk-bombs), but instead with literal flavors of fermented sauces like soy sauce, bean sauce, or perhaps even think of strong pungent cheeses. It's insane and delicious and my favorite of the styles. . More to come in part 2...have you tried baijiu? Leave your questions ???? . [archived in #BarFaithWhiskies] #BarFaith #BarFaithBaijiu #china #chinese #chinesefood #asiandrinks #homebar #homebartender #bartender #mixology #drinkstagr

2018-05-17 08.02.52 1781315464853700813_4831345287

Baijiu, part 1. Bai jiu is Chinese for “white alcohol” and was the first alcohol I ever tasted (a chopstick dipped in it as a celebratory gesture when I was a toddler). The taste haunted me for decades, until last week, when I spent some time in Beijing and rediscovered the spirit with my non-infantile palate.

In the Western world, you don’t hear much about baijiu, but in China, it is THE spirit. People drink either beer (“pi jiu”) or bai jiu (often for festivities/celebrations), and there really isn’t much in between (traditionally).

So what is baijiu? Bai jiu is an entire CATEGORY of traditional Chinese distilled spirits made from sorghum and/or other grains. It varies tremendously in flavor and quality depending on the ingredients and production method. You can find many as cheap as <$10 for a liter, or as expensive as many hundred $$$s.

There are 4 main flavor categories of #baijiu that vary dramatically, classified by “aroma”:

  1. Rice aroma: made from rice, mild in flavor and slightly reminiscent of Japanese shochu/sake or Korean soju.
  2. Light aroma: relatively “clean” in flavor, can be floral/slightly fruity. The one I tried actually reminded me of tequila, but a cheaper one may also be reminiscent of a light rum, vodka, or worse – rubbing alcohol.
  3. Strong aroma: this style is highly fragrant, ester-rich, and unique. Think something like a Jamaican white overproof rum or a high-proof mezcal in terms of flavor intensity, but a completely different flavor profile. It’s umami/savory, pungent, spicy, yet still fruity and unlike anything else.
  4. Sauce aroma: this is an even more intriguing version of strong aroma, equally intense in flavor (think: *super* pungent Jamaican rum funk-bombs), but instead with literal flavors of fermented sauces like soy sauce, bean sauce, or perhaps even think of strong pungent cheeses. It’s insane and delicious and my favorite of the styles.

More to come in part 2…