The flavorful and insanely strong liquor has landed in America. The shots are small, but they add up: Baijiu consumption represents one-third of all the liquor put away on the planet each year. Look out Tequila, this tasty shooter has you in its sights.
What It Is:
Baijiu (bye-jyo; the “j” is soft) is a clear, Chinese, 100-plus-proof liquor made from sorghum and other grains. Because it’s the most-imbibed booze in a country of 1.3 billion people, consumption of this stiff stuff represents one-third of all the alcohol downed worldwide.
How to Drink It
Traditionally served at banquets where guests go shot-for-shot with the host, it’s poured at room temperature in one-ounce shot glasses. Say “ganbei!” (gan-bay), sip it all—savor it for a few seconds—then swallow.
Where To Try It In A Cocktail
Peking Tavern, Los Angeles
The Order: The Wong Chiu Punch, with baijiu, hibiscus and lemon juice.
3 Drink-Worthy Baijius
Earthy and grassy, with a hint of cocoa.
Shui Jing Fang Wellbay
Tropical fruit flavors from start to finish.
Luzhou Laojiao Zisha
Packed with lychee and banana notes.