What is Baijiu?
Baijiu (sometimes referred to by its historical name of Shaojiu) is a clear, strong liquor distilled from fermented grain and typically made with a blend of several ingredients. It hails from the People’s Republic of China, and despite its obscurity in the Western world, it is far and away the best-selling liquor in the world thanks to its billion-strong consumer base.
The drink has various classifications based on its range of flavours, known as ‘fragrances or aromas’. These range from light and sweet to stronger bodied flavours that are tough for beginners.
Baijiu is more than a recreational liquor in its homeland – it is a cultural symbol, and an iconic part of China’s heritage and history. Baijiu is a token of respect for social events, and is commonly offered to dinner guests in one’s home. As a famous Chinese saying goes: “You can’t set the table without baijiu”. The drink is most often consumed with food, and different aromas of baijiu have their own appropriate pairings.