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HISTORY & CULTURE

Baijiu is China’s most popular and traditional drink. For thousands of years it has been regarded as a drink to mark celebrations and strengthen bonds, both business and familial. In ancient times, soldiers would celebrate their battle victories with baijiu.  At over 600 years-old Baijiu originates from China’s oldest continuous operating baijiu distillery.

To appreciate the baijiu you are drinking, it is necessary to consider the colour, aroma and taste - these three senses will determine the ‘type’. A good baijiu should be bright, shiny and clear with no suspended particles and it is best served at room temperature in small tasting cups.  A celebratory toast takes place, 'Yum Sing' (Cantonese) or 'Gan Bei' (Mandarin) meaning 'cheers' before shooting or sipping baijiu. It is traditional to drink baijiu with food rather than on its own, though the latter is not uncommon.

Since launching in 2014, Baijiu Cocktail Week has helped ensure the inimitable, celebratory, best-selling spirit of China gains momentum closer to home - among the UK’s most discerning barflies…

With a bold, haunting perfume, crystalline Baijiu, which unfurls from beautiful bottles, is historically served pure in bijou shot glasses. However, its presence as a potent backbone or as exotic seasoning within carefully crafted cocktails has seen it become a popular ask among leading mixologists and their cocktail connoisseur customers, from five-star London hotels to a dedicated Baijiu bar established in Liverpool.

Although little is known in the UK of the fanciful legends that surround the fine libation, we aim to change that over the course of the playfully inclined Baijiu Cocktail week by introducing potential new fans to a practical portfolio of cocktails designed and served in the capital’s most atmospheric bars to help you see in the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster, which represents courage, loyalty and warmth.
— Douglas Blyde, ES Magazine