Shaojiu redirects here. Not to be confused with other 燒酒: Japanese (焼酎) and Korean (소주/燒酒). redirects here. not to be confused with early : japanese shōchū and Korean soju chinese distilled liquor
Baijiu ( chinese : 白酒 ; pinyin : báijiǔ ; fall. ‘white ( clear ) liquor ‘ ), besides known as shaojiu ( 烧酒/燒酒 ), is a chinese colorless liquor typically coming in between 35 % and 60 % alcohol by volume ( ABV ). [ 1 ] [ 2 ] Each type of baijiu uses a discrete character of for zymosis singular to the distillery for the distinct and characteristic relish profile. Baijiu is a clean liquid normally distilled from fermented genus sorghum, although other grains may be used ; some southeastern chinese styles may employ rice or gluey rice, while other chinese varieties may use wheat, barley, millet, or Job ‘s tears ( chinese : 薏苡 yìyǐ ) in their grind bills. The starter culture used in the output of baijiu is normally made from powderize wheat texture or steamed rice. [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ]

Because of its clarity, baijiu can appear alike to several other East asian liquors, e.g. japanese shōchū ( 25 % ) or korean soju ( 20–45 % ), but it frequently has a importantly higher alcohol subject ( 35-60 % ). Baijiu is comparable to whisky in terms of variation, complexity of season and ace .


Guojiao distillery, featuring apparatus for traditional baijiu distillation. distillery, featuring apparatus for traditional baijiu distillate .


) distillery remains in Shuijing Fang ( ) distillery remains in Chengdu Sichuan. Each baijiu distillery has its own qu which contains a specific microbiome that would develop their branded flavor profile. The trough in which qu is cultured are traditionally an inseparable part of the distillery. No claim dates are known for the invention of the modern form baijiu as it likely emerged gradually with the development of distillery technology over a retentive period of time through history .

  • Prototypical alcohol making in China dates back to as early as the Neolithic Age with archaeological discoveries of alcoholic beverage containers belonging to that period.
  • A systematic distillery process was likely developed during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) with archeological finds of brick arts depicting distilling scenes.
  • The first proto-baijiu was likely made during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) as the drink was described by poets Bai Juyi (白居易) and Yong Tao (雍陶) at the time.
  • The flourishing of commerce and urbanisation during Song Dynasty (960-1279) likely had popularised alcohol consumption with a boom of Jiuguan (酒馆, ‘pub, bar’) in major cities.
  • By this time the proto-baijiu was likely to be only about 15% ABV as literature from the time recorded “bowls of alcohol consumed” suggesting that it must have been weaker than the modern form baijiu.
  • During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368),[9][10] Middle Eastern distillery technology spread to China, which probably improved the existing distillery techniques, allowing for higher-degree distilled alcohol to be possible.
  • The distillation technology matured as baijiu began to resemble its modern form around the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Detailed description of Baijiu was recorded in Bencao Gangmu (本草纲目, Compendium of Materia Medica) by Li Shizhen.
  • Baijiu continued to evolve with the refinements of baijiu making techniques over the centuries until today.

Baijiu is characterized by solid-state agitation and distillate using a grain culture called , which allows for coincident saccharification and zymosis. This is a distinctive feature of liquors produced in East Asia. taiwanese baijiu is always distilled from granulate, produced in batches and blended. [ 9 ] [ 10 ]


traditional etiquette.

The Chinese traditionally serve baijiu neat at room temperature, [ 11 ] in small cups or glasses, though drinkware varies by region. It is traditional to drink baijiu with food preferably than on its own, though it is frequently infused with fruit or medicative herb and spices. [ 4 ] The ceremonial includes the watch steps :

  1. Execute the Baili (拜礼) greeting to show respect to the host.
  2. Spill a moderate amount of baijiu in the cup onto the ground to show gratitude to nature.
  3. Take a sip and taste the baijiu, and tell the host your opinion.
  4. Finish the baijiu in the small glass in one go after the Ganbei (干杯, ‘Cheers’) and clinking of glasses.

eminence that the host should initiate and invite for a cup, and the guest should reply with a cup .

Modern etiquette.

In modern days, ceremony parts of the etiquettes are ignored. normally with a group of friends or family, the server would initiate with “ Cheers for … ! ” ( 为 … 干杯 ! ), and then guests would finish their cups after clinking the glasses. taste is besides appreciated. Modern bar culture has grown in popularity in China, then has a crave for a wrench on the traditional baijiu. In 2007, a report in Time magazine mentioned integrating baijiu into cocktails, [ 12 ] and in the years since respective bars around the global have added baijiu to their cocktail programs. [ 13 ] Peking Tavern in business district Los Angeles opened its doors in 2013 as one of the first base in the US to serve a variety show of baijiu cocktails. Owners Andrew Chiu and Andrew Wong felt that it ‘s an crucial part of chinese dine culture. Their goal is for America to develop an appreciation through cocktails first and gradually transition to enjoying the liquor on its own .

Baijiu and Chinese business culture.

taiwanese clientele culture is known to be intense. It is believed that one ‘s on-key color is shown when intoxicated. therefore, when negotiating a business partnership, there is a custom of serving high-degree Baijiu on the dinner postpone, in arrange to judge one ‘s trustworthiness. There are besides folk beliefs, particularly in rural China, that consuming alcohol excessively equates to manliness and that one should not reject a serve offered by an aged or superior. many inexperienced chinese drinkers are persuaded to overdrink on such occasions. These experiences are normally referred to as the reason for Baijiu ‘s unpopularity among some. This negative association of Baijiu with extreme point drinking culture can sometimes lead to fear of Baijiu in the younger generation or people who have even to try the drink. [ 14 ]

pricing and the baijiu market.

A bottle of Maotai ( Moutai ) produced in 1998 has an estimated monetary value range of HK $ 195,000-293,000 ( US $ 25,000-37,600 ) in an auction in Hong Kong in 2017. Although most baijiu are priced similarly to other liquors with alike alcohol share, some high-end baijiu can be highly collectible due to the intricate skills and traditional artisanship involved in the have of baijiu, the age of the baijiu, or the rarity of the bottle etc. With the gifting custom in some areas of China, sometimes expensive baijiu could besides be gifted rather of being consumed. There is a goodly marketplace for high-end baijiu solicitation for the above reasons. For model, the highest grade of Wuliangye retails for CN¥26,800 ( US $ 3,375 ). [ 15 ] Top-tier baijiu are likely to be from traditional baijiu distillery such as Kweichow Maotai, Wuliangye, Luzhou Laojiao, Shuijing Fang etc. On the opposite side of the spectrum. Low-end baijiu can be adenine cheap as a can of beer per volume. [ 16 ] For example, Erguotou and Jiang Xiaobai. Although some despise the low ends for their taste, they are more casually consumed with meals, or just when drinkers want to just get intoxicated .

global baijiu market.

Baijiu is the universe ‘s bestselling liquor, with five billion litres sold in 2016, [ 17 ] and 10.8 billion liters sold in 2018, more than whiskey, vodka, gin, rummy and tequila combined. [ 18 ] arsenic well as the most devour liquor, with 1.2 billion nine-liter cases consumed in 2018, largely in China – three times the global consumption of vodka. [ 19 ] Outside of China it is gaining popularity, as seen with the sale of Ming River Baijiu in US and EU markets from late 2010s, a strong-aroma ( nongxiang ) type baijiu sourced from the Luzhou Laojiao distillery. [ 20 ]

australian market.

In Victoria, Australia, Good Spirits Co. produces australian Baijiu – a strong-aroma baijiu. The ingredients used in product, sorghum, barley and wheat, get sourced from victorian and western australian farmers. In 2019, australian genus sorghum exported to China accounted for approximately 78.3 percentage of Australia ‘s sum genus sorghum export commercialize, which was valued at 29.9 million U.S. dollars. [ 21 ] Exports of australian sorghum to China are largely driven by necessitate for baijiu fabricate .
Baijiu made in Australia using locally grown sorghum, barley and wheat .


categorization by aroma profile.

Throughout the evolutionary history of baijiu, numerous regional variations in alcohol production technique across the area have been incorporated into baijiu make. [ 9 ] The practice of infusing alcohol with herb, spices, fruits and other ingredients has its roots in traditional chinese medicine, but is besides done strictly for relish. The commit of infusing spirits is a common practice. [ 10 ] Baijiu has a classifiable smell and taste that is highly valued in taiwanese culinary culture, and connoisseurs focus particularly on its bouquet. This categorization system began in 1952 and was updated in August 1979 at the one-third nationally baijiu contest held in Dalian. even so, during the contest, experts rated diverse baijiu based on their taste rather than olfactory property. [ 22 ] There are 4 major categories of baijiu based on olfactory property profile :
diverse other recess olfactory property profiles :

  • “Chi” xiang (豉香, chǐxiāng; douchi /douban flavour), or “Zhi” xiang (脂香, zhīxiāng; fat aroma):
    • Named after douchi, the popular Chinese condiment made from fermented bean, this is a savory rice-based baijiu from Guangdong notable for the addition of pork fat during the aging process.
  • Fuyu xiang (馥郁香, fùyùxiāng; extra-strong aroma):
    • This category refers to the liquor produced by the Jiugui (酒鬼) Distillery in Hunan. Distilled from sorghum, rice, glutinous rice, wheat, and corn that has been fermented with big qu and medicinal small qu.
  • “Laobaigan” xiang (老白干香, lǎobáigānxiāng; laobaigan aroma):
    • Similar to light-aroma baijiu, but fermented with wheat-based big qu and bottled at extremely high proof. Most often associated with the Hengshui Ruitian (衡水瑞天) Distillery in Hebei.
  • Yao xiang (药香, yàoxiāng; medicinal aroma):
    • A pungent liquor that originates at the Dongjiu (董酒) Distillery in Guizhou. Medicine aroma is distilled from the combination of two separate pit-fermented sorghum mashes, one fermented with wheat qu in a large pit and one fermented with medicinal rice qu in a small pit.
  • Jian xiang (兼香, jiānxiāng; mixed aroma):
    • A class of distilled liquors that is a blend of two or more varieties of baijiu. As such, liquors of this class vary widely in their aroma, mouth-feel, and dryness.
  • Feng xiang(凤香, fèngxiāng; Xifeng style aroma):
    • A class of distilled liquor fermented in mud pits and aged in rattan containers. Liquors of this class have a fruity taste similar to strong-aroma baijiu, but also an earthier quality and an expanding finish. An example of this type of liquor is Xifengjiu from Fengxiang County in Shaanxi.
  • Zhima xiang (芝麻香, zhīmaxiāng; sesame aroma):
    • A class of liquor distilled from sorghum, millet, or barley in stone pits with mud floors. Invented by the Jingzhi Distillery in the 1950s, sesame aroma employs similar production techniques to sauce-aroma baijiu, and has a charred, nutty flavor.
  • Xiaoqu Qingxiang (小曲清香, xiǎoqū qīngxiāng; qingxiang with small-batched qu):
    • A style of baijiu distilled from sorghum that has been fermented with rice-based small qu.
  • Te xiang (特香, tèxiāng; Si’te distillery special aroma):
    • A rice-based baijiu fermented in brick pits with big qu, it originates from the Si’te (四特) Distillery in Jiangxi, where the iconic Si’tejiu originated.

regional varieties.

Zhuyeqing jiu (


) from A glass and bottle of ) from Shanxi state other than by olfactory property, Baijiu can besides differ by styles, production methods, ingredients etc. regional varieties of Baijiu are frequently slightly unique in flavor profile and output method acting. Some examples of regional varieties include :

  • Daqujiu (大曲酒/大麴酒, Dàqūjiǔ): Originally from Sichuan. This liquor is made with sorghum and wheat qu and is fermented for two to three months in mud pits. Nongxiang type baijiu.
  • Erguotou (二锅头, èrguōtóu, lit. “head of the second pot”) is a variant of Qingxiang type baijiu. It is often inexpensive and thus particularly popular amongst blue-collar workers across northern and northeastern China. It is probably the most commonly-drunk baijiu in Beijing and is frequently associated with that city. Red Star (


    , Hóngxīng) is a popular brand.

  • Fenjiu (汾酒, fénjiǔ): Grain alcohol in Fenyang, Shanxi dates back to the Northern and Southern Dynasties (AD 550). Most commonly associated with the Xinghuacun Distillery, Fenjiu is a Qingxiang type sorghum baijiu fermented with qu made from barley and peas.
  • Gaoliangjiu (高粱酒, gāoliángjiǔ): Kaoliang is an old Romanized spelling for the Chinese word for sorghum, gaoliang (高粱). The liquor originates from Dazhigu (


    , east of Tianjin), first appearing in the Ming Dynasty. Taiwan is the leading producer of Kaoliang liquor. It is a Qingxiang baijiu.

  • Sanhuajiu (三花酒, Sānhuājiǔ, lit. “Three Flowers Liquor”):photo a Mixiang type rice baijiu made in Guilin that borrows techniques from local rice wine tradition. It is famous for the fragrant herbal addition, and the use of spring water from Mount Xiang in the region.
  • Shuangzhengjiu (双蒸酒/雙蒸酒, shuāngzhēngjiǔ, lit. “double-distilled liquor”) and Sanzhengjiu (三蒸酒, sānzhēngjiǔ, lit. “triple-distilled liquor”, formerly known as “samshu”): Two varieties of Mixiang baijiu from the area of Jiujiang in Jiangxi and in Guangdong, made by distilling twice and three times respectively. Alcohol content by volume: 32% and 38–39% respectively.[25] “Samshu” was the name by which most foreign travelers knew baijiu during the Qing Dynasty.

democratic infusions.

Throughout the evolutionary history of baijiu, numerous regional variations in alcohol production technique across the state have been incorporated into baijiu make. [ 9 ] The practice of infusing alcohol with herb, spices, fruits and other ingredients has its roots in traditional chinese medicine and herbology, but is besides done strictly for relish. Infusing spirits is a park rehearse. [ 10 ] Floral infusions:
Medicinal infusions:

Baijiu brands.

The remains of a historical Jiannanchun ( 剑南春 ) distillery. Baijiu are much characterised by their distillery. The clear-cut olfactory property and taste profile is probable to be the forte of that region. Therefore, frequently the name of the brand is the like as the name of the baijiu and the distillery. however, bigger brands tend to have a series of different types of baijiu a well as their touch baijiu. Beginner is recommended to try the signature baijiu of the brand first gear, to learn about their style of baijiu construct. due to its long history, about every province in China has at least one regional forte baijiu. however, Guizhou and Sichuan are the two biggest, particularly celebrated baijiu-making provinces, where numerous distilleries can be found. Below is a non-exhaustive list of relatively long-familiar Baijiu brands, grouped by station of lineage, in descending order of popularity ( semi-arbitrary and subjective ). *Many other brands exist, but usually only produced, sold and consumed locally and therefore lesser-known and not included in the list. Guizhou :

  • Guizhou Moutai (贵州


    , Guìzhōu Máotái,Kweichow Moutai): This liquor has a production history of over 200 years, and originally coming from the town of Maotai in Guizhou. It is made from wheat and sorghum with a unique distilling process that involves seven iterations of the brewing cycle. This liquor became known to the world after winning a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California. Mao Zedong served Moutai at state dinners during Richard Nixon’s state visit to China, and Henry Kissinger once remarked to Deng Xiaoping that, “if we drink enough Maotai, we can solve anything”.[34] Alcohol content by volume: 53%.

  • Xijiu (习酒)
  • Guotai (国台酒, Guotai Spirits) is distilled seven times to produce a crisp, clear flavor. The authentic spirit is made from wheat and a red sorghum cultivated in China’s agricultural heartland. Guotai uses an ancient Chinese distillation process.

szechwan :

  • Wuliangye (五粮液, Wǔliángyè) is a strong, aged distilled liquor produced in the city of Yibin in southern Sichuan.[35] Its factory includes a Liquor History Museum on its grounds.[36] Wuliangye uses five grains (sorghum, rice, glutinous rice, corn, wheat) as its raw material, hence the name “Five-Grain Drink”. The water which is used to brew Wuliangye is from the Min River.
  • Shuijing Fang (水井坊)
  • Jiannanchun (剑南春, jiàn nán chūn): Jiannanchun is baijiu produced in Mianzhu city, Sichuan province. Mianzhu in the Tang dynasty belongs to Jiannan zone, so-called “Jiannanchun”. Liquor-making water is from Mianzhu northwest of the rare plateau water. The underground mineral water here is not affected by any foreign bacteria and surface water, forming the natural weak alkaline mineral water with excellent quality.
  • Luzhou Laojiao (泸州老窖): Luzhou Laojiao is one of the most popular liquors in China, with the history extending over 400 years. It is known for the quality of its distillation along with its unique aroma and mouth-feel, the latter of which is due to the clay used within the brewing environment, which infuses the spirit with its taste.
  • Langjiu (郎酒)

Guizhou. Bottles of diverse brands and types of baijiu, from left to right : Sanhuajiu from Guilin Guangxi, Red Star Erguotou from Beijing, Ming River from Luzhou Sichuan and Maotai from Maotai Bottles of Red Star and Niulanshan brands of Erguotou beijing :

  • Red Star (红星, hóng xīng) is an amalgamation of twelve no-longer-private distilleries, including the erguotou originator, Yuan Sheng Hao. It was issued the very first business license of Communist China.[37]
  • Niulanshan (牛栏山)

hebei :

  • Liulingzui Jiu (刘伶醉): Liulingzui originates from Wei and Jin Dynasties. The wine is made by strictly following the traditional process of Five Utensils. Liulingzui has won a lot of prizes and awards: Special Gold Award of the Paris Exposition, the first batch of China Food Cultural Heritage, the first batch of China’s Time-honored Brand, National Geographical Indication Products and the National Key Cultural Relics Protection Units.
  • Laobaigan (老白干)

hunan :

  • Jiugui (酒鬼, jiǔguǐ, lit. “drunkard”) is a clear distilled liquor made from spring water, sorghum, glutinous rice, and wheat. It is produced by the Hunan Jiugui Liquor Co., Ltd. in the town of Zhenwu near Jishou in the Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in the western part of Hunan. It ranges from 38 to 54% alcohol by volume.[38]

Shanxi :
Shaanxi :
Anhui :

  • Gujing-gongjiu (古井贡酒, gǔjǐinggongjiu, lit. “Ancient Well Tribute Liquor”) is a traditional Chinese liquor made from water from a well in Bozhou, Anhui Province. The history began in Southern and Northern Dynasty (AD196), people lived in Bozhou found that there was an old well that produced very clean and sweet, so they started using the water to produce the tea and grain wine. Then, it was famous in ancient China so people gave it to Emperor Xie Liu of Han as a tribute. It is produced by the Bozhou Gujinggongjiu Liquor Co., Ltd. at Anhui Province. It ranges from 38 to 50% alcohol by volume

Jiangxi :
Jiangsu :

  • Yanghe (洋河, yánghé): Yanghe Daqu began to flourish in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and was presented as the tribute to Qing royals. After the founding of the country, the liquor was able to be enjoyed by citizens across the nation. Carrying on millennia of traditional craftsmanship, Yanghe Daqu uses only the highest quality sorghum as a base and only the best wheat, barley and peas as high-temperature fermenting agents.

guangdong :

  • Yuk Bing Siu Zau (玉冰烧酒, Yùbīng Shāojiǔ) or roulaoshao (肉醪烧, ròuláoshāo): a Cantonese rice liquor with over 100 years of history, made with steamed rice. After distillation, pork fat is stored with the liquor but removed before bottling. Its name probably derives from the brewing process: in Cantonese, “jade” (yuk) is a homophone of “meat”, and bing means ‘ice’, which describes the appearance of the pork fat floating in the liquor. Cantonese rice wine breweries prospered in the Northern Song Dynasty, when the Foshan area was exempted from alcohol tax. Alcohol content by volume: 30%.

See besides.


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