Food & drink

Countdown begins to World Baijiu Day, a celebration of Chinese spirit

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 May, 2015, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 May, 2015, 3:15pm

It’s still nearly three months away, but perhaps we need that much time to mentally prepare for a celebration of China’s national spirit. The first World Baijiu Day is being held on August 8 to celebrate the strong, pungent alcoholic drink.

Beijing-based drinks consultant and writer Jim Boyce is organising the event as a way of highlighting existing interest in the drink and generating some more.

“The event aims to raise the profile of baijiu, which ranks as the planet's most consumed spirit but is little known outside China. Vinexpo stated last month that baijiu represents more than one-third of global spirits consumption,” said Boyce.

Global drinks giants such as LVMH are investing in baijiu and distilleries have opened in the United States and New Zealand. Nine bars in London took part in a  baijiu cocktail week over Lunar New Year.

Bars on four continents have so far signed up to take part in World Baijiu Day, including Mott 32 in Hong Kong; R&D Cocktail Lab in Taipei; Beijing's Capital Spirits and Jing-A Taproom, and The Schoolhouse in nearby Mutianyu on the Great Wall of China; Lumos in New York; Peking Tavern in Los Angeles; and The Hide in London.

In Hong Kong, Baijiu cocktails are becoming more widely available.

Tycoon Tann and Mod bar on Wellington Street, Central, has a Chi Pao, a tweaked sour that mixes baijiu with Michter’s rye, apple juice and a healthy dusting of cinnamon to take the edge off the Chinese spirit, which is 53 per cent alcohol. Other venues in Hong Kong with notable baijiu lists are Dragon Seal and Tin Lung Heen, both in the ICC in West Kowloon.

To keep up with planned events visit worldbaijiuday.com/map/