The number one selling spirit in the world, baijiu is a uniquely-flavoured, clear alcohol and plays a key role in Chinese culture – it is traditionally drunk in a series of toasts before a celebration meal. Baijuu varies hugely depending on where it is made, and the unique brewing techniques of each producer.
Different bottles and distilleries have a fiercely loyal following – and diners will often look for their local baijiu in restaurants. Interestingly, the ingredients in different baijiu bottles can be entirely different. It is commonly made with sorghum wheat – but not always.
Baijius fall into one of five flavour categories - ‘sauce’ (with savoury almost soy sauce notes), strong, light, rice (with earthy sake flavours) and mixed (a combination of the other flavours). The spirit’s flavour is categorised on the most prominent aroma, which is created by adding extra ingredients to the central grain, as well the length and type of fermentation.
Known as ‘Chinese Fire Water’, these complex spirits are relatively unknown in the west. With their intense layered aromas, this is the drink your cabinet is missing!