Missing? Abducted? Kids On Baijiu Bottle Labels

Missing? Abducted? Kids On Baijiu Bottle Labels

The image of a missing child’s visage on a carton of milk was once a hugely common sight in western society. There is a substantial problem with this idea in China, however; the country is not a nation of dairy consumers. How can this be resolved?

Well, the sizable city of Chongqing came up with a unique solution. The general manager of Chongqing Laoyuanzi Wine Co. Ltd, Xiao Dufeng, hit upon the idea of raising awareness of missing children – many of who are feared abducted – on their bottles of baijiu.

On paper, it’s a curious choice. After all, many of us choose to sip on spirits to relax and escape the more unpleasant realities of life in the 21st Century. The reality is, however, that baijiu is China’s national beverage of choice.

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Baijiu Collector Makes It Into Guinness World Records

Baijiu Collector Makes It Into Guinness World RecordsIn 2013 a 61 year old collector of baijiu made it into the Guinness World Records book. Ning Fenglian is the chairman at Baishan Fangda a large alcohol distributor in Jilin Provence.

Ning started his collection in 1974 and has been adding to his collection ever since. Since childhood Ning says he developed an affinity to Chinese alcoholic drinks which resulted in him working within the alcohol industry.

Ning started working in a wine store in the 1990s which was running at a loss but Ning turned the losses into gains through bold and innovative measures.

At one time during the 1990s many stores were out of stock of Moutai but Ning had built up good connections with the producers and was able to profit from the shortage by ensuring the empty stores were stocked with Moutai on a regular basis.

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Baijiu Taste – What Food Goes Well With Baijiu?

Baijiu Taste – What Food Goes Well With Baijiu?

Back in the mid-1990’s, I had the good fortune to work at Oddbins. In 1995, labels were handwritten and the knowledge had to be retained as there was no database of notes to rely on! I recall this job as each Saturday we carried out a tasting.

One aspect involved educating our customers on whisky and occasionally other spirits like vodka, gin and rum. When showcasing a whisky, the selection was usually two differing categories such as Islay and Speyside. Allowing consumers to genuinely recognise the difference often helped perceptions of this fine spirit and aside from selling bottles, it was a fun education.

But the world’s biggest selling spirit is not a whisky or indeed any other spirit named above. Shifting over 10 billion bottles a year is a Chinese spirit called Baijiu, something that I’d never heard of 23 years ago.

Baijiu also has varying categories which are known as ‘aromas’. There are 4 main baijiu aromas with a degree of smaller variations.

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The Educational Element of Brewing Baijiu

Kweichow MoutaiIf you’re interested in learning all about baijiu, you’re in the right place. Here at Baijiu Blog, we have you covered. There is only so much that can be discovered online, though. If you’re looking to become a baijiu master, you can earn your status with a degree in China.

The educational facility that offers this course is the Moutai University, a 32-acre new build located in Renhuai. Attendees will be taught everything that needs to be imparted about brewing Moutai, the province’s baijiu brand of choice. Baijiu is a way of life in China, and the university is no exception. So much so that the college boasts their own motto: “Love me Moutai, earn glory for the country.”

So, what’s the thinking behind this initiative? Is the production of baijiu so lucrative that it’s replacing traditional STEM and business degrees as an optimal career option for China’s next generation? Yes and no.

Whilst the baijiu business is booming, that doesn’t mean that skills surrounding the creation of the wine are commonplace. Distillers have been struggling to source skilled workers to brew baijiu, so this course is designed to ensure that the next generation of baijiu drinkers can enjoy the fruits of a local workforce.

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Baijiu and Viagra – The Stiffest of Cocktails

Baijiu and Viagra – The Stiffest of Cocktails

If there is one thing that can be said about baijiu is that’s a potent beverage. A single shot of the spirit will often be strong enough to leave novice drinkers on their back, meaning that it’s probably best avoided for anybody keen to recall the entirety of their evening.

Clearly, simple intoxication wasn’t cutting it for some drinkers though. The Food Safety Bureau in baijiu’s native China has revealed that ground Viagra has been located in the baijiu produced at over fifty distilleries. If that doesn’t convince you that it’s time to give baijiu a shot, we’re not sure what will.

It all stems from the presence of powdered Sildenafil in the spirit. This drug actually started life as a treatment for hypertension. As history tells us, however, a curious side effect involving the prevention of erectile dysfunction caught the world’s attention. Viagra was thus born, and for reasons best known to themselves, baijiu distillers have begun sprinkling it into their booze.

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Drinking Baijiu – Chinese Customs & Traditions

Drinking Baijiu - Chinese Customs & Traditions

There’s a popular adage that suggests, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This is sound advice in all walks of life, and it also applies to when in Beijing – or indeed, any territory in China. Tradition and custom are hugely important to the citizens of this country, and a huge part of Chinese culture is the consumption of baijiu.

Baijiu is something of a mystery to many western individuals. Pound-for-pound it’s the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, but it’s rarely consumed outside of its native country. Baijiu is not just another drink, however. While most nations will offer a wide selection of different choices in bars and residential drinks cabinets, many Chinese establishments will operate a baijiu-or-bust policy.

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What is Qu? The Fermentation Starter For Baijiu!

What is Qu? The Fermentation Starter For Baijiu

If you’re going to make baijiu, you’ll need a number of different things. The base ingredients are obviously essential, such as grains and water. Perhaps most importantly, however, you’ll need qu, or jaiqu. This is what is used to make baijiu taste a little sweeter, as well as aiding with the fermentation process.

Qu starts life as a range of grains, which are compiled together before adding a number of additional components. It’s essentially a starter agent for the fermentation of alcohol. There are two types of qu, known colloquially as ‘big qu’ and ‘small qu’.

As the condition of the earth is essential to creation of qu, every territory in China will produce a different type. The ambient climate and condition of the soil will have an impact. This is why every brand of baijiu has a different taste and aroma, depending on where it was made.

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How To Make Baijiu! How Is Chinese Baijiu Made?

How Is Baijiu Made?

For so popular a drink, very little is known about the production process of baijiu. How is this celebrated Chinese liquor created, and how long does it take?

The process of creating baijiu can be broken down into several pivotal steps. Once this is complete, the drink is ready to be bottled and enjoyed throughout the Chinese nation – and beyond!

Let’s take a look at each step of the baijiu creation process, from idea to consumption.

What is baijiu?

The first thing that you need to understand is that baijiu is not just a single beverage. It’s a family of drinks (the word baijiu translates into the English language as ‘white alcohol’), with a variety of different brands, flavors and scents.

Ordering a baijiu in China is like entering a western bar and asking for a glass of wine. You’re going to need to get a little more specific to enjoy everything that baijiu has to offer. There are a number of different options open to you.

The core differences in different brands of baijiu stem from the production process, and the ingredients used to make the beverage. Naturally, selecting and gathering these ingredients is the first – and arguably most pivotal – step in creating baijiu.

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Ganbei! Through The Ages: Gānbēi (干杯) Means “dry cup”, Or To Drink A Toast

GanbeiWINE has been called the “Water of Life”. In China, it could also be called the “Water of History” because stories about wine can be found in almost every period of China’s long history.

Nowadays, China is still a country which has a big consumption of alcohol. A few years ago, statistics revealed that the annual output of baijiu, a drink with a high alcoholic content, had reached 10 billion liters consumed annually.

Historically, alcohol pre-dates the formation of the Chinese character and it was around 4,000 BC that ancient China saw its first period of making alcohol. Read more on Baijiu History.

The ancestors of today’s Chinese people made alcohol from corn and they believed the drink had magic powers.

At that time, alcohol was not for ordinary people but was a monopoly of the monarchy. Kings set up special bureaux to take charge of the production and distribution of alcohol and it was a luxury drink reserved for the king and the aristocrats.

Stories from earliest times also associate alcohol with tyrants. A famous one is entitled “The Wine Pool and the Meat Forest”. Zhou, the last king of the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC), was well-known as a tyrant. He was also addicted to alcohol.

He ordered people to make a big pool and had it filled with wine. He then ordered meat to be hung high like a forest and watched naked men and women chase after one another for his amusement.

Modern research has shown that people in early China kept their wine in bronze vessels which made the wine poisonous because the tin in the alloy would dissolve in the drink. So many drinkers were unaware they were poisoning themselves and this was a factor in bringing about the end of the last hard-drinking ruler of the Shang Dynasty.

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Baijiu Beer Heading To China

Baijiu Beer Heading To China

A UK beer producer has won orders to ship 12,000 of its bottled beer infused with baijiu to Hong Kong and Shanghai. The baijiu beer company brews real ale combined with China’s favorite tipple baijiu.

The company will ship its first order in January after securing the order with support of both the DIT and The Craft Beer Alliance who have also helped other UK brewers break into the Chinese market.

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