This post was edited by bravos at 2013-11-26 08:12|
This thread aims to offer a glimpse of Chinese Baijiu to the reader, and is dedicated to my teacher Seneca, though he doesn’t like Baijiu at all.
As one of the eight most famous distilled alcoholic drinks in the world, Chinese Baijiu, surprisingly, has never been a pure Chinese invention. Some researchers claim that Baijiu’s history could date back to as early as Tang Dynasty; however, more people believe that this distilled liquid was introduced to China in Yuan Dynasty, when the Mongols conquered the Persians and took their distilling technology back home.
Everything in China enjoys its Chinese characteristics, and Baijiu is no exception. It takes the grain as its raw material, which is boiled, saccharified, fermented, distilled, aged, and blended before it is called Baijiu. It looks transparent or slightly yellowish, with a pure scented smell and a pleasant, clean, and crisp finish.
To some extend, Baijiu has become an epitome of Chinese culture. The most classic Baijiu brands in China include Maotai, Wuliangye, Fenjiu, Luzhou Laojiao, Xifengjiu, Jiannanchun, and so forth. Now, ‘No Baijiu, no banquet’, has been a saying in China, even known to 3-year-olds. You might also be amazed at the fact that quite a few entrepreneurs even sign contracts with their business partners when they are half-drunken. Again, ‘No Baijiu, no contracts’ has become something popular in the business circle. Alcohol tolerance, sometimes though not always, has become the only factor that decides the fate of an interviewee who applies for a job in the department of public relations.
Baijiu brings along tragedies, too. In 2011, According to statistics, 3555 traffic accidents in China were attributed to drunk driving, leaving 1220 people dead and much more injured. Driving after drinking Baijiu has been a ruthless killer on the road. It was even worse ten years ago, when people always felt guilty if they were not enthusiastic in pushing a driver to drink Baijiu. Now, strict rules against drunk driving has been issued, and drunk driving means at least 6 months in jail if the driver gets caught.
Mr. Xi also made history in Baijiu. Soon after he became the first man in China, he issued a series of edicts prohibiting alcoholics and against extravagancy among officals. Maotai was the first Baijiu enterprise whose stock price began to plummet since then. Other brands of Baijiu felt the coldness of winter , too.
Bad Baijiu gives you headaches, and good Baijiu gives you sweet memories. As a teetotaler, I have no preference for Baijiu, but my Dad does. In his own words, ‘one mouthful of Baijiu a day, keeps the doctor away.’ I am fully convinced because I knew Baijiu is also a life when the drinker is moderately addicted to it. You can not take his Baijiu away, just like you can not take my teacher Seneca’s books away.