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Sweet taste of home

By Fan Zhen | China Daily | Updated: 2014-01-17 07:17

Sweet taste of home

Software engineer Liu Hongjun gives out free samples of his homemade rice wine at the Beijing Country Fair. He has learned from his mother to make the traditional rice wine of his native village in Jiangxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

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Liu Hongjun has spent the past year perfecting his family's recipe for rice wine, and says there is nothing else like it on the market. Fan Zhen reports.

Liu Hongjun loves sharing. He takes part in marathons to share his passion for running with thousands of others. He raises money to buy computers for poor children to spread his love of knowledge. Recently the software engineer decided to share another thing, the traditional handmade rice wine of his family. It had never occurred to Liu to make rice wine until one year ago when his wife gave birth. His mother came to Beijing and made rice wine to help her daughter-in-law produce breast milk. He used the extra wine to treat his friends at dinners and it became so popular that a lot of them came back for more.

"Why not learn to make it myself since my friends enjoy it?" he asked himself.

Rice wine is a popular drink in Liu's village in East China's Jiangxi province. Every year as winter approached, his mother would start to make pottery jars of rice wine and the house was constantly filled with its aroma. At dinners, their relatives and friends would drink together.

For Liu, the rice wine, which is warm and sweet, brings back memories of childhood friends and family.

Now working in the capital far from his hometown, he misses it more than ever.

"I've tried different kinds of rice wine from the supermarkets-even the very expensive ones-but I can't find the same taste," Liu says. "Most of them taste either too plain or just like syrup and don't have the special aroma of rice."

He didn't know why until he started to learn how to make the wine himself from his mother.

Making rice wine calls for great care in terms of ingredients, timing and temperature. There must not be a single mistake.

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