Happy Chinese New Year. Like most Chinese celebrations, this calls for Baijiu, that strong, clear spirit distilled from sorghum, rice and other grains. It’s already one of the world’s best selling spirits, and though the majority of baijiu is consumed in China and other Asian countries, its popularity is picking up stateside.
Baijiu is a potent spirit with a proof often topping 100. Then consider its distinct aroma and flavor–which can range from dry and earthy to sweet and fruity to something akin to fermented solvent. So… it’s an acquired taste, but one that we’ve come to enjoy. In China, it’s typically consumed as a room temperature shot, so the drinker can experience its funky nose, strong taste and warming sensation. But more and more, baijiu is finding its way into cocktails.
And that’s what we’ve got here: a heady baijiu cocktail for enjoying on Chinese New Year. Or anytime, really. The below recipes comes from Tarita Liza Noronha, the Beverage Manager at Hakkasan Beverly Hills.
BAIJIU, WE’VE GOT IT!
1 oz Mianzhu Daqu-Laohao Baijiu
.75 oz Hum Botanical liqueur
.5 oz fresh ginger
1.5 oz hibiscus tea
Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
Add baijiu, Hum, fresh ginger, hibiscus tea and ice to a shaker. Shake and then strain into a collins glass. Add crushed ice and top with Fever-Tree Ginger Ale. Garnish with ginger candy.