Baijiu is the most famous drink in China.
Baijiu is a clear, potent spirit made from grains, typically sorghum or wheat, that has been a beloved Chinese beverage for centuries.
The production process begins with the selection of grains and the addition of water to create a slurry.
The slurry is then fermented for up to a month with the help of yeast and a starter culture known as “qu.”
After fermentation, the mixture is distilled in clay or copper pots to create a highly concentrated alcohol, which is then aged in earthenware vessels or oak barrels.
Baijiu can have an alcohol content ranging from 40% to 60%, depending on the type and production process.
There are many different varieties of baijiu, each with its unique taste, aroma, and production method.
One of the most famous types of baijiu is Maotai, a high-end variety made in the town of Maotai in Guizhou province.
Maotai is known for its distinct flavor profile, which includes hints of soy sauce, pear, and sesame oil.
Other popular types of baijiu include Luzhou Laojiao, Wuliangye, and Fenjiu, all of which have their unique characteristics and flavor profiles.
In China, baijiu is often served during formal banquets and other special occasions.
The drink is traditionally consumed neat, at room temperature, and served in small ceramic cups.
Baijiu is also often paired with food, with different varieties being matched with different dishes to complement their flavor profiles.
In recent years, baijiu has gained popularity outside of China, with some companies beginning to export the spirit to other countries.
While it may be an acquired taste for some, baijiu’s rich history and cultural significance make it a fascinating and essential part of Chinese cuisine and tradition.
I went to a baijiu factory: