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World Baijiu Day 2018 sees record number of cities take part

By Morag Hobbs (People's Daily Online)    17:53, August 09, 2018

The 4th World Baijiu Day kicks off today, August 9, 2018. The famous Chinese liquor isn't as well known across the rest of the world, but that hasnt stopped bars and restaurants from a record-breaking 30 cities taking part on the date which, in Chinese, sounds similar to the drink, ba jiu (8/9).

Over 20 billion bottles of baijiu are consumed annually, making it the worlds most popular spirit. In fact, according to organizer Jim Boyce, thats over 10 million liters, which is enough for everyone in the U.S. to fill their bathtub with the alcohol.

Baijiu holds a special place in Chinese culture and is often enjoyed during celebrations, special occasions and business meetings. It is most often consumed as a shot by way of ganbei – or bottoms up.

Jim Boyce, a baijiu connoisseur and the organizer of World Baijiu Day, says that the idea behind the celebration is to give people the opportunity to explore baijiu ‘beyond ganbei, explaining, "It would be easy to get 100 bars involved if it was just opening a bottle and doing shots, but we are really putting emphasis on creating something, like cocktails or food. I just added a town with a population of 611 in France. The chef is doing baijiu glazed cod with baijiu perfumed risotto. Thats the kind of stuff we love."

When asked about the craziest baijiu-infused food hes tried, Boyce reminisced, "The deep-fried baijiu chef Dustin Merrett made a few years ago. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and boozy," adding that it was best to enjoy it after work!

Many people shy away from baijiu after drinking a few too many shots on their first encounter, but Boyce says that just like other liquors, there are a variety of different styles of baijiu, each with their own characteristics.

"Trying different baijius side by side really highlights their unique characters and acts like a guide. When it comes to whiskey, some people like peaty Islay single malts while others like sweeter Speysides, and still others might like Japanese whiskey or Bourbon or Canadian Rye. The same goes for baijiu, with many different styles to explore, hopefully at a non-ganbei pace!"

A number of bars across China and in cities all over the world including New York, London and Bangkok are preparing specialized cocktails and food, hoping to introduce baijiu to a wider audience. If you want to see how the masters do it, you can find the full list of locations and events at 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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