Week 5 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously!
This week’s adventurous choice is Baijiu -a Chinese spirit distilled from sorghum. Baijiu means “white liquor” and that is exactly what it is. Check out the pretty bottle:
I hate that they Americanized the name! Actually, I’m not entirely sure this is authentic baijiu, but it was the best I could come up with. So as you can tell, I didn’t overindulge in the baijiu. In fact, I made one cocktail with it: a strawberry-lime slushy thing that would have been better suited to a summer day than a winter evening.
Did I mention I had to order it online? Pennsylvania has some frustrating liquor laws, let me tell you. And, I’m learning that the internet is extremely unreliable for finding places that sell these unusual alcohols. Remember how I couldn’t find Japanese whiskey last week? My friend Rachel found it in a liquor store in the Allentown area. That’s an easy drive from my house. Grrr…
Anyway, Baijiu… Listen to the description on the side of the bottle:
Mischievous, mysterious, seductive, sensual, sizzling, spicy, smooth, enticing, surprising, tantalizing.
Sounds naughty! What does it taste like, you ask? I did take a little sip of it by itself. It’s hard to describe. Sorghum, a member of the grass family, is the main grain used to make a mash from which the spirit is distilled. Actually, that’s a huge simplification. Other grains go into the distillation process as well, which, according to Jeff’s book:
is a really long and complicated affair.
The baijiu I bought is infused with dragon fruit, lychee, and hot chiles, which gives it a fruity, spicy, floral background taste. (Another clue that this is isn’t the real deal!) It’s often consumed as a shot and at 70 proof, this stuff is totally shootable. I might end up drinking it that way or on the rocks. Maybe it will make me seductive and sensual! Pfffft! I may just sneak it into my girlfriends’ drinks in lieu of rum or tequila. You can’t tell the difference under grenadine and pineapple juice.
These exotic alcohols are killing me. Next week is another entry from China. You might end up having to hear about the beer brewing experience after all! Batch one, a Belgian Blonde Ale, is finished fermenting and ready to be kegged! The English Ale from the day of the blizzard is up next.
Don’t forget to check in with Lula and see how she liked the baijiu!