Best local brews to drink in China: China is known around the world for its sumptuous cuisine and culinary traditions, but little is known about the local spirits that are equally unique to the country. From local grain spirits like Baiju to fruit wines like Guojiu, enjoy these local brews the next time you visit China.
5 Best local brews to drink in China
Baijiu, often referred to as the national spirit of China, is a category of grain spirits native to the country. It is usually distilled from sorghum but can also be made from rice, wheat, maize, and millet. Like other spirits, even baijiu has distinct classes, also known as ‘aromas’ that define the flavor of the spirits. There are four widely recognized flavor types: rice, mild, strong, and sauce. Some popular brands to look for are Mutai Baijiu, Zifengjiu, Sanhuajiu and Erguotou. You can enjoy this spirit as a shot or in a cocktail.
Huangjiu, also known as Yellow Chinese Liquor, is considered one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world – it is more than 2,500 years old! It is made from grains such as rice, wheat, or millet, and unlike baijiu, it is not distilled. Huangjiu is aged in pottery before being bottled. The longer it lasts, the better the taste. Some wines are aged for about 10 years before being opened. The most traditional way to drink huangjiu is to heat it slightly, as this enhances the flavor. It can also be eaten cold.
Chinese rice wine, also known as Mijiu, is made from fermented glutinous rice. Like its Japanese counterpart, mijiu is often heated before drinking and can be enjoyed. Mijiu is widely used as a cooking wine, although such varieties are mildly salted.
Fruit wines or guojiu are widely consumed in China and are wines made from fruits other than grapes. Some popular varieties include wolfberry, cherry, lychee, mulberry, pomegranate, kiwi fruit, and five flavored berry wines.
- Chinese beer
China is considered one of the largest exporters of beer worldwide and has a beer-making history dating back nearly 7,000 years. Chinese beer is known for being light and refreshing due to its low alcohol content and is often paired with grilled meats and spicy foods. Popular beers to try are Snow, Yanjing, Singtao, Wusu, and Kingstar.