As a wine and spirit lover I have conducted a number of tastings for clients, cogitated over pairing selections for food and advised newly engaged couples on the ideal choice of beverage for their forthcoming nuptials. This has varied greatly, from luscious reds, to zingy and fresh white wines, to fabulous Gins and Whiskey’s When you are thinking about a great selection of spirits, it is highly likely that you are liable to consider those aforementioned choices, or perhaps an Armagnac, or Cognac – and given their popularity worldwide – they would be a fine choice.
You would also be forgiven for thinking that these spirits are the best selling in the world. Well, dear reader, you would be mistaken. The people of the great and vast country of China have spent centuries cultivating, developing, and selling a drink that has turned into the worlds top selling spirit. Baijiu. 5 Billion, yes 5 Billion, litres of the drink were sold in 2016 alone.
So, what do you need to know about this fascinating, yet unfamiliar spirit to many outside of China? Well, it has an aroma (See baijiu aromas) and character that is both unique – and even to the hardened spirit drinker – a true test of getting the right taste and variety that appeals and turns on your taste buds like nothing else you have ever tried in your life. The drink is believed to have emanated from as far back as circa AD960, through ancient Chinese dynasties, but in its current form, is believed to have been around since the infamous Ming dynasty. Meaning ‘clear liquor’ Baijiu is generally distilled from Sorghum Wheat, or other grains like Barley. Certain styles in South West China might use Rice as a constituent and, though clear, is more likely to resemble a dark spirit, like Whisky, especially in complexity and character. (See baijiu ingredients)
Read moreThe Beautiful Mysteries Of Baijiu