Re: [Distillers] Chinese booze
- In 2001 when on vacation in China, I purchased a bottle of this booze.
One of my traveling companions and I sat down one evening to sample it.
Pouring a shot for each of us, we toasted our health and lifted the
glasses to our lips. Luckily, we were both somewhat cautious, and we
each took a sniff, and a gentle sip instead of shooting it down.
After we each had a sip, it took about 5 minutes of coughing and eye
watering before we were able to pour our shots back into the bottle, and
give it away to the nearest busboy (who was very thankful and gave
excellent service the rest of the evening!).
I never want to experience that crap again! LOL
> Article seen in "The Beijing Scene"
> regards Harry
> Baijiu Fun & Games
> Hey Ayi,
> Every time I go to a restaurant, there seems to be a table of people
> shouting and waving their arms over innumerable bottles of a
> pungent smelling liquid. What is this strange brew and why all the
> Dear Teahead,
> You have obviously not visited your local bar, otherwise you would
> know that these arm-flailing Chinese are not fighting but partaking
> in one of many activities that accompany public drinking. The clear
> liquid they are guzzling is probably a local brand of baijiu, a
> grain-based spirit with an alcohol content between 20 and 60
> percent. Literally translated as 'white alcohol' and containing
> enough ethanol to kill all known germs, this national beverage has
> been around even longer than Ayi herself.
> The term jiu is actually applied with great impartiality to all
> kinds of alcohol, whether fermented from grains or distilled as a
> spirit. Liquor fermented from grains (known ubiquitously as 'rice
> wine') is probably the earliest example of alcohol in China, with
> references dating back to the pre-historical Shang dynasty and
> involving a basic process of brewing raw ingredients in boiling
> water. Baijiu is the spirit variety produced by a two-step
> fermentation and distillation process and can be broadly categorized
> either by the yeast used, by the flavor, or by aroma and can be
> separated into three types: nongxiang (aromatic), qingxiang (faint
> scent), jianxiangxing ('light' flavor).
> The origins of jiu are shrouded in myth and mystery, with stories
> ranging from a concoction of grains and animal milk heated up by the
> primitive Huang Di people to a legend telling of a celestial brew
> created by the 'god of alcoholic drinks' when the universe began.
> The most popular myth concerns a certain Yi De, cook to the
> legendary Emperor Yu of the Xia dynasty, who invented the alcohol by
> accidentally leaving a crock of forgotten rice to ferment. Upon
> tasting it, the cook decided to throw a banquet in celebration,
> which left them all incapacitated the next day. To avoid future
> recurrence, the emperor imposed three strict rules for wine-
> drinkers: Wine must be served in tiny cups instead of rice bowls,
> one must eat while drinking, and one must indulge in some form of
> exercise while drinking.
> Thus began a complex tradition of drinking etiquette. Before Western
> drinking customs began to invade the East, the Chinese mainly
> imbibed alcohol in conjunction with eating, and it is therefore a
> prominent feature of banquets and feasts, particularly at weddings
> and other special events. On such occasions, when inviting others to
> drink, the host or guest should both rise from their seats, place
> two fingers beneath the cup while toasting and raise it again after
> downing the jiu in one swig. The 'drinking-by-polite-urges'
> phenomenon, experimented at many a Chinese feast, is a traditional
> gesture of hospitality in which both host and guests alike persuade
> each other to drink cup after cup in turn until one or the other
> either vomits or passes out.
> As solitary drinkers have traditionally been looked down upon in
> Chinese society, innumerable finger games, number games, and word
> games to play while drinking have been devised so as to seem
> suitably convivial. The most common is the 'finger-guessing' game,
> which involves two or more participants, a seemingly endless supply
> of alcohol, and a lot of unintelligible shouting and hand-shaking.
> In fact, even the simple-minded foreigner can master the rules of
> this engaging pastime, which simply requires both drinkers to
> stretch out fingers in a certain shape representing a certain number
> between one and 20. If the number said by one of the drinkers is
> equal to the total represented by both drinkers hands, he is the
> winner. As with drinking games worldwide, the loser has to drink.
> If the pungent effects of the local rotgut have deterred you from
> partaking in such drinking games, your Ayi can point you in the
> direction of some smoother regional varieties of baijiu. Probably
> the most famous alternative is Maotai, which hails from Guizhou
> province and has a taste and texture uncannily like soy sauce.
> Spirits from Sichuan and Jiangsu, known as 'high-flavor' drinks, are
> sweeter, made from a combination of wheat, barley and rice. There
> are also several wines used for their medicinal properties to
> promote good health and virility. Often on display on restaurant
> counters, these large jars contain a hotchpotch of ingredients,
> varying in taste and composition. Ayi's personal favorite is the
> Cantonese snake wine, a green and virulent concoction made from
> snakes pickled in spirits and taken as a tonic. Unfortunately
> though, much of the baijiu nowadays is watered-down by greedy
> companies, which is why I have taken to making my own moonshine.
> Ganbei! (Bottoms Up!)
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- I was in Shanghai in 1984 at a formal dinner. After about 10
courses we got to the toasting stage of the dinner and yes, it was
this stuff and there were a couple of hours of toasts. I can
guarantee that it tastes and smells just as bad coming back up as it
does going down.
Even in my early days of distilling I couldn't make anything that
--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, Dave Nay <dave.nay@...> wrote:
> In 2001 when on vacation in China, I purchased a bottle of this
> One of my traveling companions and I sat down one evening to
> Pouring a shot for each of us, we toasted our health and lifted
> glasses to our lips. Luckily, we were both somewhat cautious, and
> each took a sniff, and a gentle sip instead of shooting it down.
> After we each had a sip, it took about 5 minutes of coughing and
> watering before we were able to pour our shots back into the
> give it away to the nearest busboy (who was very thankful and gave
> excellent service the rest of the evening!).
> I never want to experience that crap again! LOL
> > Distillers list archives : http://archive.nnytech.net/
> > FAQ and other information at http://homedistiller.org
> > Yahoo! Groups Links