Chinese Baijiu(white liquor)

(Last Updated On: December 22, 2022)

Baijiu plays an important role in Chinese food culture and is irreplaceable. More than 3,000 years ago, the Chinese began to brew a large amount of yellow wine(Huangjiu). Huangjiu which is known as the world’s three ancient wines with beer and wine is one of the oldest wines in the world. It originated in China and is only available in China.  Yellow wine is a fermented wine with a yellowish color and a much lower degree than distilled wine.

In the Southern Song Dynasty, there was distilled liquor, which was called shaojiu (烧酒) in ancient times. It is a clear, colorless liquid and known as the world’s six major distilled spirits with brandy, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum.

At Chinese weddings, funerals, and holiday reunions, Baijiu is a necessary drink. The liquor(Baijiu) will be eaten together with dishes. In addition to the meat dishes, salad dishes can also be an option. Deep-fried peanuts, and dried beans, can also be used as a snack. Liquor can be placed in a porcelain or metal jug, put in hot water, and then drunk, to warm up, especially in winter. This is also the drinking method passed down in ancient times.

We can’t leave the literati to talk about China’s wine culture. The literati endowed the deeper connotation of liquor. Tang Dynasty poetry is the pinnacle of Chinese cultural poetry. The wine gave birth to poet’s poetry, like the famous poets’ Li Bai, Du Fu, and Su Shi, all of them, making a lot of famous works after drinking. But at that time they all drank yellow wine.

When it comes to wine culture, it is also necessary to say drinking game. Yaling(literal drinking game) of the drinking game is a test of people’s intelligence, knowledge, literary cultivation, and resilience. Without poetry and dexterity, one person makes a show of himself. Cultural content such as history, poetry and lyrics, songs and lyrics, and allusions are included in the drinking game. In the interlacing, not only enjoy the mellowness of the wine(baijiu) but also enjoy the fragrance of culture. One of the four famous masterpieces, the Dream of Red Chamber, the sixty-third chapter of the  Qunfang’s dinner party, presents the scene of the drinking game.

Chinese liquor has developed into a modern one, distinguished by flavor types. They are the sauce, the strong flavor, and the light flavor. Although the scent type mainly comes from distiller yeast(jiu qu), the quality of the wine is also closely related to the regional environment and climate, so the Chinese Maotai can’t be copied from other places.

Strong flavor liquor is represented by the  brand Luzhou Laojiao(泸州老窖), Wuliangye(五粮液).

The sauce flavor is represented by Maotai (茅台)and Langjiu(郎酒).

The light flavor is represented by Alcoholism(汾酒) and Erguotou(二锅头).

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