The consumption of baijiu comes with many traditions that must be observed. Chief among these is the vessel that baijiu is consumed from. Rather than a traditional tumbler or wine glass, baijiu is invariably served in a small shot glass that resembles an undersized goblet. This is a far cry from the 14th Century days of the Liangshan Heroes, when baijiu was consumed from oversized bowls.
V.I.P Jiu 8 is Britain’s first authentic Imperial craft baijiu that truly embraces and celebrates the history and traditions of China’s favourite spirit.
V.I.P Jiu 8’s unique recipe was first conceived 300 years ago by one of China’s greatest ever emperors and only now, due to an extraordinary set of circumstances has the original recipe been painstakingly and authentically recreated.
The story begins back in 2014, when V.I.P’s creator Irving Graham bid £300 for a cracked Chinese wine cup at an auction in southern England. He later discovered it was a piece from the Imperial Chinese collection once housed in the Forbidden City during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor between 1654-1722.
Moutai is marketed as the national spirit of China. This really became the case in 1949, when Chairman Mao rose to prominence. Mao and his comrades toasted the founding of the People’s Republic of China with Moutai. Perhaps that was because it was the tipple of choice of Zhou Enlai, the Chinese premier and Mao’s second-in-command.
Specialist premium Baijiu importer and distributor, Cheng International, is launching a four-part online masterclass in the UK, starting on July 13.
The course, to be held on Zoom, will be aimed at key players in the UK drinks trade. Qiqi Chen, Managing Director of leading exporter Cheng International, said it wanted to offer these events to “encourage people to learn about Baijiu and understand how baijiu it is made”. The world’s largest selling liquor has a deep history in Chinese culture that will also be examined.
Each masterclass will demonstrate how Baijiu can really enhance the range of specialised retailers selling premium spirits. There will also be baijiu food pairing and baijiu cocktail making demonstrations.
Baijiu looks exactly like vodka and is usually distilled from sorghum, although sometimes grains may be used. Baijiu is produced differently all over China. For example, in southern China, it’s typically made from glutinous rice, but if it’s from northern China it’s made with sorghum, wheat, barley, and millet.
China’s drinking culture isn’t to get drunk ASAP. Usually it involves drinking small amounts of alcohol over a long period of time, so if you’re feeling tipsy, wait for about fifteen minutes and take another drink. Sooner or later you’ll be feeling tipsy again. You’ll be drinking beer or wine if you are lucky; baijiu if you are not (pray that you live to see the next day).
This is a unique-tasting craft baijiu, unlike many of the more popular commercial brands. On the grounds of originality alone, I’m prepared to recommend it – though the qualities of the spirit also stretch beyond mere novelty.
The V.I.P Jiu 8 brand refers to itself as, “The Imperial Craft Baijiu.” This is more than just a catchy slogan; this spirit apparently follows a recipe laid down by none other than the Kangxi Emperor, thought by many to be one of China’s finest and wisest rulers.
You’ve likely heard it said that a glass of wine a day will keep the doctor away…wait, that’s apples. But fans of Baijiu can rejoice because it turns out that wine isn’t the only boozy beverage that can positively impact our health.
Yes, despite being classed as hard liquor this Chinese national treasure has been scientifically proven to be even better for the old ticker than wine – go figure! That’s not all, it can even help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure! Did someone say Baijiu Diet? Sign me up!
All jokes aside, the lengthy list of health benefits that come from Baijiu are very real and while I can’t promise that your doctor will be rushing to fill out a prescription for a bottle of this seemingly-magical spirit, adding it to your (ahem) special medicine cabinet might just be the key to improving your overall health.
If you’re looking to impress a visitor to your home, few things are more impactful than a wine cellar. Aged, fine vintages are a sign of class and sophistication – as well as being a great conversation starter. The times are a-changing, however. Whilst enthusiasm for wine and spirits such as whiskey will always be high, it’s just a matter of time before baijiu takes its place at the top table.
Not heard of baijiu? You’re in the majority – for now. This Chinese beverage has yet to make any real inroads into Western culture. This is sure to change soon though, as manufacturers of the spirit are launching a charm offensive to bring the drink into bars, restaurants and living rooms throughout the world.
It may take a while before baijiu comes the national beverage of any country other than China, as it’s something of an acquired taste. You’ll need an iron constitution to remain standing after your first few shots, as baijiu is hugely strong! Once you have mastered the method of consuming baijiu, however, you’ll be at the forefront of a brave new world.