Tomorrow (9th August 2019) marks the world day for one of the most popular spirits, Baijiu. We could wager that many of you haven’t even heard of Baijiu, yet some 20 billion – yes billion – bottles are produced each year. The reason this spirit may be little known around the world is that it originates in China and this is where the vast majority of those 20 billion bottles are consumed.
Also known as Shaojiu, Baijiu is classed as a category of around a dozen Chinese liquors made from grain and traditionally it is enjoyed warm, as a toast. Baijiu literally translates as white liquor, as is generally distilled from fermented sorghum, rice, wheat, barley, or millet. Although it is a white spirit, in terms of its complexity and mouthfeel it is more resemblant of whisky than something like vodka or gin.
Often infused with fruit, medicinal herbs or spices there are many different versions of Baijiu available on the market and slowly but surely, these versions of Baijiu are starting to make their way around the world. High in alcohol content, it is certainly a liquor to be wary of. You don’t want to be shotting this back all night long. Amazingly, even without Baijiu being available worldwide it is still the best selling spirit in the world with 10.8 billion litres old in 2018 – that is more than whisky, vodka, gin, rum and tequila combined!
Trendy bars and cocktail specialists outside of Asia have been experimenting with Baijiu for some time and chances are you will start to see it appear, at least as a cocktail ingredient, in bars in the more metropolitan cities in the UK. It is actually quite a versatile spirit and its flavour profile plays well with others such as brandy, whisky, rum and more.
With that in mind here is a cocktail we sourced from DrinkBaijiu.com to celebrate World Baijiu Day, as well as all the tools you will need to make it:
40ml strong aroma baijiu
15ml overproof rum
15ml passionfruit liquor
30ml lime juice
30ml pineapple juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake with ice. Single strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel.