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Baijiu - does anyone like the taste?


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I would say that sake is infinitely.... more drinkable that that Chinese aviation fuel.

Roddy try putting some of it on a painted surface. I'll put money on it stripping the paint. At the very least you could use it the same way as metho and pour it into your ears after going swimming to dry up the excess water that gives you ear infections...

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Hey Roddy,

The fact that you were drinking baijiu at 3am, and then continued the discussion in the morning at 10am implies you just weren't drinking the stuff seriously!

I agree, I don't find it the kind of drink you can savour in polite company. Just ganbei it, though, and it quickly becomes drinkable, no?

Derfinitely an acquired taste to us westerners.

A scottish friend of mine used to serve it up at his place 'on the rocks'. "Try this! It's actually alright with a bit of ice" he would say...

Guizhou Maotai is REALLY expensive. Has anyone tried it and discovered some incredible difference from Beijing 2 kuai Erguotou?

In Harbin you can buy Shouliutan (handgrenade) baijiu, which comes in appropriate-shaped bottles. Makes sense.

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  • 1 year later...

I think Baijiu tastes okay. My friends and I drink Baijiu only when we are at a gathering at a friend's place and play some korean dice games.

The first time i had Baijiu , my friends told me not to smell it and just drink.

The smell is awful.

People with weak stomachs should stay away from baijiu. At my last party, a guy threw up seconds after drinking baijiu. It was his first time. :-?

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Like all booze there's good and (a lot of bad). I used to drink beer when at dinners with officials in the countryside where you do all of that terrible toasting, but I realised that that baijiu is the better bet becuase the quatity per drink is smaller and there really is some quite decent stuff out there. I tried some farmer's homebrew as well which was OK, but best has to be the 坛坛酒 sorghum wine the Yi farmers used to make. You take turns to drink out of a big eatherware pot through a bamboo straw.

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It's ghetto, it's foul, and it's' definitely the kind of alcohol that only dealing with a Harbin winter could make palatable, but I'm a true believer in 二鍋頭 (especially the kind made by the good folks at 紅星牌). Also, I've come to savour the effect that imbibing a bit of Baijiu of any sort has on enhancing the flavors of a typical Chinese meal, especially Sichuan cuisine. I really think it does open the palate in some strange way to the combination of spices, sauces, and MSG. The thing is it's definitely an acquired taste, and to the uninitated the smell alone can be enough to send people running for the hills.

Fortunately, 紅星牌二鍋頭 is available in several NYC Chinatown liquor stores, so I never lack for the stuff when I'm at home. However, I'm adamantly oppossed to buying here in Taiwan, where an 750ml costs the quivalent of $10 U.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As much as I like the stuff, I refuse to pay that kind of price for glorified lighter fluid when a bottle of Absolut costs almost the same, and a small bottle of Kirin or Nikka whisky can be had for a lot less.

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i've always considered myself a bondafide alcoholic, but i CANNOT stomach the rice wine...i kinda feel good about myself for that, but my advice is to stick with the cheap, (but sweet), red wine that is above 11.5% percent...the rice wine is a suicide mission...

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I think an important point was made earlier regarding drinking baijiu with food. I think it definitely tastes better with food. Occasionally, I've offered it to Chinese firends without food and they've looked at me like I was crazy!

Having said that it's about the only spirit that I can actually drink neat - it's generally sweeter than western spirits such as whiskey or vodka and, to me, that makes it quite palatable. I've found that the taste varies greatly from the gut-rotting 70% proof "express train to drunk town" stuff to the much more pleasant (but almost as lethal) 50% jobs like Wu Liang Ye, etc.

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  • 2 months later...

I recall that when I first came to the country I thought Baijiu was quite drinkable.Perhaps I was blinded by my enthusiasm to immerse myself into the local culture.

In any case, being Irish, whenever I attended a banquet I was accosted from all quarters by a seemingly endless line of maotai wielding Chinese folk.Thanks mostly to my boss constantly enlightening them to the stereotype of the Irish ability to drink.

Luckily in my case it happened to be true at the time, so it was no bother.

One day in Sept 2003, I was being given a lift to Guiyang by a government friend of my boss.As you might expect(him being a big-wig n all) we attended quite a few meals along the way, each one identical.Some local arse-end-of-nowhere official trying to improve guanxi using baijiu as currency - which was inevitably ( and unavoidably) passed on to me.

Anyway the trip from Tongren to Guiyang takes about eight or nine hours by car - minus the banquets, so all the drink started to add up, and wasn't helped by a random break to go swimming about half way through.

When we finally got to Guiyang, my new comrades decided to test the stereotype and insisted that I ganbei the jiu in 1/2pint glasses.............yes, you read that correctly.

Already well plastered, I agreed. What followed was the second ever alcohol induced blackout of my life.

Apparently I remained lihai till the end...right up to the point where I was carried out to the car and in to my hotel room.

The next day, I went to get my visa renewed. As I approached the front of the queue and was beckoned to the counter I (you guessed it) threw up.


(no...they didnt give me the visa)

Since then I normally avoid baijiu if at all possible......though at least I no longer wretch at the smell.

So, in answer to Roddy's original question, no, I don't like the taste

Not anymore.

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Well, I don't drink baijiu much, but my grandfather does, and he turns 80 this year. If he does, he usually drinks it in small glass cups, and sends a shot down like you see Amercian cowboys drink whiskey in Western movies. He usually have them with roasted peanuts at the dinner table. Grandmother wants him to quit though so he only gets to drink on special occasions now. In English it would be called spirits, I think. 二锅头Erguotou is a cheap popular brand from 山东Shandong province. It comes in bottles and flasks. At the other end is 茅台Maotai, which is brewed in the same fashion as it has been since the 汉Han dynasty. But quite expensive. Most of the times it comes in the original porcelain bottle which gives it an antique look. It's nice up until you send a shot down the throat, and about half a second later you start to feel the pain in your throat. It smells nice, but it's quite strong, and I think you could even get drunk just smelling it for awhile. So next time you have dinner, get with some friends, place a plate full of roasted peanuts, and enjoy a bottle of 茅台Maotai in shots with little cups. Might even want to have the phone handy in case you need to call an ambulance.

-Shibo :D

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