The history of Baijiu is interwoven with the history of China and Chinese culture. Alcohol goes back 9000 years in China and at first, the simple origins of making alcohol was considered something of a luxury to these earliest of pioneers. The religious and political rulers and elite class communed with the spirit world or used alcohol as a gift during religious rites but since then, it has played a large part in influencing so much of life in China – from politics, mythology, art and religion to social occasions and formal ones, the way that the journey has led to Baijiu and its importance over the last 600+ years cannot be underestimated. Now that Baijiu is branching out to the wider world, it is time the world understood that the story of Baijiu is the story of China.
In Jiahu, archaeologists found pottery shards dating back 9000 years; organic acid from grape wine was found with evidence of rice, honey and fruit used in a mix to make alcohol. This is possibly the oldest evidence of alcohol although barley beer production may also be the same age from the Middle East. This Neolithic grog was used by the ancient Chinese to reach the spirit realm. At the same time, the earliest playable musical instruments in the world are also discovered here, the flutes playing a role in their commune with the ancestors, just like the ancients of Egypt.
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