Chiew Red Bottle Baijiu 100ml
Spirits Business ranked Gujinggong as the world’s fifth most valuable spirits brand in 2021, keeping the likes of Jack Daniel’s, Hennessy, Smirnoff, Bacardi and Johnny Walker out of the top five. That alone should earn it a space in a discerning drinker’s collection.
Guijinggongjiu, meaning ‘old well tribute liquor’, has a history dating back over 1,800 years. It’s made just outside Bozhou, Anhui province, which is the city that “the oldest distilling method existing in the world” originated from, according to Guinness World Records. So, this is a bottle with provenance unlike any other.
Wrapped with a dragon, this super-cute 10cl bottle is filled with a mixed style Baijiu, crafted with the emphasis on the much-loved ‘sauce’ aromas. It was created using sorghum, rice, wheat, glutinous rice and corn, and water from the old well system that has been used for thousands of years. Aged in ceramic pots for a minimum of three years, it has savoury herbal, green tea, soy sauce and dark chocolate notes, flecked with fresh stone fruit and peppery spice. Tucked into a branded gift bag, this Chieuw Red Bottle is the perfect introduction to the world of ‘sauce’ style Baijiu. We recommend sipping it neat or swapping it for the gin in classic cocktails.
Baijiu has been China’s national drink for more than five millennia and is the most-consumed hard liquor on the planet (18 billion litres are made each year). Although the West has been slow on the uptake, that’s all about to change. Sales of this fascinating spirit are exploding around the world. And it’s worth noting that Baijiu is as important a part of Chinese heritage as silk, tea, ceramics, martial arts and calligraphy, all of which have become very popular on these shores.
The name translates as ‘clear spirit’, and Baijiu can be distilled from sorghum, wheat, rice, sticky rice or corn. What makes it unique is two-fold. Firstly, it’s an ingredient called ‘Qu’ – bricks of damp grains left in a warm place until they grow yeasts, fungi and microorganisms – that is used to kickstart the fermentation, a little like koji for Japanese Sake. This gives Baijiu a distinctive aromatic funk, which reminds us a little of high-ester Jamaican rum. Secondly, it’s the fact that Baijiu – unlike any other spirit we’re aware of – is created by distilling the solids, not the liquid. Baijiu is then matured in ceramic jars; something that’s becoming increasingly fashionable in the world of wine also. These breathable containers allow micro-oxygenation of the spirit and remove impurities, all without adding flavour.
Again, like fine wine, production methods vary and there are strong regional variations. So, the Chinese generally classify Baijiu by its distinctive smell. The primary categories are ‘rice’, a sweet and floral style from the south; ‘light’, a delicate style from the north made with sorghum; ‘strong’, the most popular style crafted using at least two grains and mud pits for fermentation; and ‘savoury’ or ‘sauce’, an expensive and umami style thought to resemble soy sauce. Following a similar trajectory to other strong, artisanal spirits like Mezcal, Baijiu is traditionally sipped neat, but it has recently captured the attention of cocktail aficionados and the world’s finest bartenders. Baijiu now looks set to cement its status as the greatest spirit on the planet by increasing its global reach.
£9 per 100.00ml
SKU No.: 3518043
Style No.: 901997
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