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Learning to love the taste of 'fire'

By He Qi in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-09-11 07:20
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Participants enjoy baijiu, or white spirits, at a masterclass on World Baijiu Day at Healer Bar in Shanghai on Aug 9. The bar was one of many venues around the world that took part in the festival. [Photo by He Qi/China Daily]

"Making baijiu is an art. Compared to many other types of spirits, baijiu is more complex in terms of production, which is more labor-intensive. The spirit also has an incredible variation in flavor profiles," she says.

In fact, World Baijiu Day was also started by a foreigner-Jim Boyce, a Canadian alcohol expert who is based in Beijing.

"China makes the vast majority of baijiu in the world-about 10 billion liters every year. We aim to make baijiu, the spirit more common than vodka, whiskey or rum, but little known outside China, better known," says Boyce.

"People just need the chance to try baijiu in a comfortable way," he adds, referring to events like the one hosted by Healer Bar.

"Many foreigners in China have a negative impression of the spirit because of heavy-duty ganbei (bottoms-up) sessions and because they have only tried a brand or two. Many foreigners outside China haven't tried baijiu at all.

"It is important to let people try baijiu in different ways, such as in cocktails, infusions and foods, as this will help to broaden the audience and allow people to discover its diversity."

Healer Bar was just one of many venues around the world that took part in the festival. According to Boyce, 21 cities across the world, including Beijing, Christchurch, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Singapore and Wuhan, held different events on this day to promote this spirit.

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