With China’s last decades of progressive opening towards the other countries, more and more foreigners have been traveling to China. Whether you have been there for business or tourism, you have probably come to experience Chinese Baijiu.
With its ancient millennial history, traditional refined preparation process and smooth pure taste, Chinese Baijiu over the years has become the most consumed liquor worldwide, according to Time.
Here we will tell you more about the well-known Chinese liquor:
Chinese Baijiu roots grow deeper into Chinese culture. According to archaeologists, the earliest findings of alcohol assumption dates back roughly to 7000-5800 years BC. Expects have found traces of grapes alcoholic mixture in ancient jars, indicating that alcohol was used in religious ceremonies and rituals by tribal leaders to communicate with the spirits.
It was during the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) though, that was invented the Qu, a composite of yeast and mold mixed with grains. Once mixed with the grain, the starch turns into sugar and then the sugar becomes alcohol. The Qu is now as it was back then, the main composite to create all kinds of Chinese Baijiu and it is used in the preparation of many Chinese dishes.
Known to be the second revolution of Chinese alcohol, distillation techniques discovered in the period of the Song Dynasty, (960-1270AD) finally brought to the creation of Chinese Baijiu. Since then, the Chinese liquor became widely popular spreading all around the country, and obtained international awards and distinction for its inherited qualities worldwide.
Baijiu: How is it Made?
Chinese Baijiu making procedure can be different depending on the region and variety. Over the centuries, it has followed the ancient tradition preserving art knowledge and hand labor.
To better understand how Chinese Baijiu is made we will look at how Jiangxiaobai is created. Jiangxiaobai is a fine example of a Chinese Baijiu that respects its heritage and has grown in popularity oversea. Here are summarized the main production steps:
- Sorghum soaked in hot water for 18-20 hours.
- Starch breakdown, first by steaming the sorghum and then by cooling it down.
- Qu yeast agent addition letting it blend with the sorghum.
- Saccharification and fermentation on the natural stone pit to remove pollution or unwanted ingredients
- Distillation of fermented mash spirit cut at 25 ℃ temperature.
- Separation of spirit head and tail from the heart cut based on the different levels of quality.
Baijiu: How It Tastes
As we know the taste can be subjective. Chinese Baijiu has more than 13 classifications of flavor, the principal two being strong aroma (Nong Xiang), light aroma (Qing Xiang).
The strong aroma is the most widely produced and popular, has strong regional ties in Sichuan province and is fermented in earthen pits. On the other hand, second for consumption volume, the light aroma is usually associated with the northern region of China. It is distilled from sorghum and rice husks fermented in ceramic jars,
Out of China, we can find Jiangxiaobai Pure Taste Chinese Baijiu made from red husk sticky sorghum as top grain choice. Its low alcohol content (25, 35 and 40 degrees) and light aroma accompanied by a delicate note of green apple and almond gives the palate a light alcoholic punch with a persistent sweet and subtle taste. Smooth, light and pure is greatly appreciated by foreigners and Chinese locals alike.
If you’re curious about trying something new, Jiangji Distillery Jiangxiaobai may be your first experience with tasting Chinese Baijiu. Jiangji Distillery is situated near Chongqing, in an ideal natural environment for liquor brewing.
The company aims at achieving the “Renaissance of the Old Flavor”. Through the respect of tradition combined with new ideas, its ambition is to share Chinese Baijiu rich culture, under a new light, that will make people all around the world fall in love with it.