Ever keen to explore the spirits of the world, Elysium Magazine prides itself on introducing you to some very special drinks. This week is no exception as we look at China’s most popular and traditional drink – that’s an adult population approaching (if not over) a billion in favour of such a drink. So this week we introduce to the drinks cabinet of the discerning gent Luzhou Laojiao Baiju.
So what exactly is baiju? It’s the popular Chinese spirit which literally translates to ‘white alcohol’ made with sorghum and other grains. It’s typically very high in alcohol content, at least 52% proof. Chinese Baiju joins an illustrious group of only three other spirits with such potently high levels – French brandy, Scotch whisky and Russian vodka.
For thousands of years baiju has been regarded as the drink of choice to mark celebrations and strengthen bonds. Given at weddings, toasted during big business deals and, in ancient times, used by soldiers to celebrate their battle victories. So the discerning gent with reason to celebrate will be joining a stellar line-up of discerning drinkers.
The best baiju should be clear of colour, contain no suspended particles and have a distinctly strong aroma developed from its clay brewing production technique. Luzhou Laojiao is exactly this and is contained within an imposing bottle similar to an artefact that could be found in the catacombs of the Great Wall of China.
The perfect serve is at room temperature in small cups. This will bring out the aroma and the subtle earthy notes on the palate.
Luzhou Laojiao is 52% ABV and available in 500ml bottles from Selfridges, RRP £55