For those of you who partied back at home, you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock because that is not the way it works in China.
You might think that playing beer pong and doing whiskey and vodka shots are the ultimate methods of getting wasted. No way!
Further reading: Chinese Drinking Games Top 7 & How To Play
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.
Historically alcohol has been attributed to the advancement of human culture, fueling the development of art, religion, politics, philosophy and language. Alcohol is one of the most controversial by-products of civilisation; it is one of the most universally produced substances throughout history and China, not unlike the rest of the world, has been influenced and shaped by the liquid.
China and its people have been brewing and distilling alcohol for thousands of years.
In fact, it has been revealed that China were making a type of wine from materials such as rice, honey and fruit over nine thousand years ago. Evidence of the drink was found in Jiahu during an archaeological dig and as a result, the drink is now regarded as the world’s oldest known alcoholic beverage.
China’s national liquor is called Baijiu, a clear, potent, spirit, with a typical percentage of 40 to 60 percent, which is distilled from fermented grain (See: How Is Baijiu Made), usually sorghum. (See: Baijiu Ingredients) It originates from the Ming Dynasty, making it a culturally and historically important alcoholic incarnation.
Baijiu is arguably the most popular beverage in the world that you have never tasted. The drink remains a rare and acquired taste outside of its native China, where it’s a cultural ever-present. Enjoyed by the young, old, wealthy and humble alike, baijiu is an essential element of Chinese culture.
If you’re looking to expand the horizons of your palate, baijiu can be a great new taste sensation. How do you know where to start, however, with so many brands available in the East? Let’s take a look at ten popular variations of baijiu, all of which are worth adding to your own personal bar. Just be prepared to hunt high and low – baijiu remains elusive on the shelves of most western liquor stores. Baijiu for sale online.
Below are ten of the best baijiu brands in the world. The baijiu brands below were chosen based on their brand awareness and overall popularity and are not listed in any particular order.
- Best Baijiu Brand: Fénjiǔ
- Best Baijiu Brand: V.I.P Jiu 8
- Best Baijiu Brand: Jiànnánchūn
- Best Baijiu Brand:Máotái
- Best Baijiu Brand: Láng Jiǔ
- Best Baijiu Brand: Gǔjǐng Gòng Jiǔ
- Best Baijiu Brand: Wǔliángyè
- Best Baijiu Brand: Lú Zhōu Lǎo Jiào
- Best Baijiu Brand: Yánghé Dàqū
- Best Baijiu Brand: Shui Jing Fang
In Chinese Mythological history, the creation of Baijiu is most often credited as coming from either Yi Di or Du Kang. Yi Di, 仪狄 was apparently either the wife, or daughter of the Xia Dynasty’s founding ruler, king Yu. King Yu was one of the great sage kings of Chinese history who had the power to control water According to historical accounts, Yi Di successfully attempted to make wine out of rice.
She presented her concoction to the King and despite enjoying the beverage immediately banned its consumption fearing that a future king would become and alcoholic and lose the throne. After the king’s death, his son Qi 啓 became king and lifted the ban on the alcohols production and consumption. From there Baijiu became used in ceremonial offerings to gods and deceased ancestors. These rituals can be still be witnessed today, particularly during the annual Tomb Sweeping festival where family members leave offerings of food and alcohol to their deceased.