Though it’s one of the most-drank liquors in the world, making up about 38% of worldwide liquor consumption, you’ve likely never heard of it. Most of its consumption takes place in China, which is where the drink originated and where it’s been produced for hundreds of years. Traditionally, it was produced by aging the liquor in clay pots that were buried underground, according to Dragon Mist Distillery, who still use a traditional Chinese method of production for the alcohol at their craft distillery.
An Array of Aromas
Baijiu has a wide variety of flavor, stemming from several different aroma profiles created by slight variations in brewing, fermentation, and ingredients. Four of the most common profiles are:
- Rice aroma, which has a sweeter, floral undertone
- Sauce aroma, which has a savory profile and, as the name suggests, can be likened to soy sauce
- Light aroma, which is on the dry side
- Strong aroma, which is more robust and complex
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to trying our baijiu, consulting with an expert at a craft distillery is a great way to discover what type of baijiu might be right for you.
Etiquette and Tradition
In China, baijiu is served at meals and significant events like weddings and Lunar New Year celebrations. Proper etiquette dictates that you must drink when given a toast. But on the non-traditional side, you can also enjoy your baijiu straight up, to be sipped and savored.
If you’re a connoisseur of fine spirits, then baijiu should have a place on your list of liquors to try. With a rich history of production and traditional consumption, as well as a variety of subtle flavor differences to experience, baijiu has earned its place as one of the most widely-consumed alcoholic beverages in the world.
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