If you have a passing interest in Chinese cultural history, you’ll be familiar with the legend of Li Bai. A poet of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), Li Bai, like many creative figures in Chinese folklore, was a devoted enthusiast of intoxication, believing it to be at the heart of spirituality. Li Bai penned many poems that celebrated alcohol consumption, with a particular emphasis on baijiu. Over a hundred of Li Bai’s odes were dedicated to China’s national spirit.
For the unfamiliar, baijiu is a clear alcohol that is hugely popular in its native China. It’s also the bestselling spirit in the world, shifting more bottles than vodka, gin, whiskey and rum, with the leading Chinese manufacturer – Kweichow Moutai – now boasting a larger share price than three of the biggest western names in the business combined.
Further reading: V.I.P Jiu 8 V Kweichow Moutai
Given the timeframe that Li Bai lived in, branding of baijiu was not a concern back then. Today, though, we like to think that Li Bai would have name checked V.I.P Jiu 8 in his ballads. Based on an ancient recipe that dates back to the days of the celebrated Kangxi Emperor – often described as ancient China’s greatest ruler – V.I.P Jiu 8 is likely to lead the charge in the inevitable conquest of baijiu in the western world.
Now, you may be wondering why this is claimed with such confidence. Baijiu is barely known in the west. It is not stocked on the shelves of any supermarket and remains a rarity in all but the most specialist of cocktail bars. You certainly won’t find baijiu served in your local spit-and-sawdust public house. This is certain to change, though. Baijiu has long conquered the Chinese market, and now the leading manufacturers have set their sights firmly on the international marketplace.
Presently, if you’re curious about baijiu, the easiest way to source a taste is through the prestige department stores Harrods, Selfridges or Harvey Nichols. These brands have arranged a partnership with Fenjiu, a reputable baijiu distillery based in the Shanxi province of northern China.
Baijiu is famously potent, with a strong scent and high alcohol content. Fenjiu is considered a, “light aroma” baijiu, meaning that it is a little easier for an inexperienced palate to cope with. Think of light aroma baijiu as the equivalent of a major bourbon brand, in comparison to a reputable single malt. It’s easier for a novice palate to come to terms with, and less likely to result in a lifelong aversion to this spirit. What’s more, the delicacy of light aroma baijiu means that it can be tempered with a mixer or used as an inoffensive cocktail base.
True baijiu aficionados, however, gravitate towards stronger variations of the spirit. These are typically known as strong or sauce aroma, as the first taste is with the nose. These baijius contain more soy and are certainly a unique taste experience. Traditional baijiu consumption, especially of these stronger variations, involved taking the spirit as a single shot. Times are changing though, with many younger Chinese drinkers preferring to savour their baijiu. This is why V.I.P Jiu 8 is surely destined to capture the imagination.
Further reading: How to drink baijiu
The journey of V.I.P Jiu 8 from inception to sale is a fascinating one, born of curiosity and dedication. This has led to a unique flavour, blending spices, floral overtones and, of course, a wide array of scents. This ensures that V.I.P Jiu 8 baijiu can be enjoyed and savoured as a neat spirit, with a clean aftertaste. However, this is not where the appeal of V.I.P Jiu 8 begins and ends. This baijiu can also be paired with a variety of foods, especially those that originate in the east. Sharing a bottle of baijiu with a hearty meal is a tradition in China, and the west will surely come around to sharing this habit in time.
Further reading: What food pairs well with baijiu
Perhaps the greatest appeal of V.I.P Jiu 8 lies within its versatility, though. Consuming a light aroma baijiu neat is a rapid route to intoxication. As discussed, V.I.P Jiu 8 can be sipped and enjoyed as a taste experience. It can also be paired with a variety of other drinks to create a range of unique baijiu cocktails. This means that the options of how to utilise a bottle of V.I.P Jiu 8 are endless. If one concoction is not your liking, there are an array of alternative options to explore. The only limit is your own imagination.
Baijiu is coming to the west. The march of this spirit is unavoidable. To truly embrace the baijiu revolution, consumers should pick the finest possible product and ensure they give this alcohol a fair opportunity to impress. The complexity of V.I.P Jiu 8 makes this the ideal baijiu brand to experience – whether sipped neat or initially sampled within the comparative safety of a cocktail. Eventually, the baijiu industry will be dominated by V.I.P Jiu 8. Why not get ahead of the curve and become an early adopter?