Baijiu (literally ‘white liquor’) is a liquid distilled from sorghum. It is sometimes made from glutinous rice, wheat, barley, or various other grains. Baijiu ranges from 80 to 120 proof and has a distinctive odor akin to paint thinner. It is the bane of many foreign teachers in China, and has lead to the rapid deterioration of many department dinners. The Chinese manage to drink it like water. We, sometimes, manage to drink it… but not by choice.
The cheaper bottles run around 2 – 3 RMB for 500 ml and the more expensive kinds can run into the hundreds. The two bottles pictured above on either side of the box were cheaper– probably between 30 and 40 RMB. The center box is a gift to a close friend and was 168 RMB. I believe it has been aged for 5 years to earn this prestigious price.
I’ll be bringing home lots of small bottles of baijiu for anyone interested to try! It gives a wicked hangover/stomach ache the next day! So much fun!
It’s noteworthy that there are few other types of liquor sold in Kaifeng stores. Typically we order our higher end liquors on Tao Bao, the online ebay of China.