Although still relatively little-known outside of its native country, the Chinese spirit baijiu is gaining a foothold among connoisseurs in the UK.
Pan-Asian food retailer Wing Yip reports that sales of the white spirit have risen significantly recently. Part of this is down to a spike in overseas visitors as a result of the London 2012 Olympics, but more and more Brits are trying it out because of the continuing interest in Chinese cuisine and culture.
Although there is a general lack of awareness in this country, baijiu is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. The name literally means ‘white liquor’, ‘white alcohol’ or ‘white spirits’ and is a clear drink usually distilled from sorghum or glutinous rice.
The spirit has been made for 5000 years and to this day forms the cornerstone of major Chinese celebrations. It is typically served warm or at room temperature in a small ceramic bottle. The baijiu is poured into...