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Four Top Baijiu and What Eat with Them

Baijiu is a Chinese liquor – fermented in the South in open vats or jars further North. It is responsible for a short 10 centuries of hangovers, bad decisions, and random acts of classic literature. 

Baijiu is a social liquor. Wedding banquets = Baijiu. Retirement parties = Baijiu. New in-laws over for dinner = Baijiu. Quiet night solo ≠ Baijiu. 

Colorless and complex, Baijiu is prized for its clarity, relished for its robust flavors, and celebrated for its high alcohol content. In general, it is a food-friendly liquor that is capable of playing off of strong flavors and highlighting both subtle and bold infusions of spices. 

The four primary baijiu classifications, which are categorized by aroma: Sauce aroma, Rice Aroma, Strong Aroma, and Light Aroma. Here is a list of the top-rated Baiiju of each classification and what to eat with them. 

Premium and Prized: Serve Sauce Aroma Baijiu by Z Year of the Zodiac Memorial Baijiu to the dignitaries of your life. 

Sauce Aroma Biajiu are powerfully structured thanks to multiple rounds of fermentation and up to 8 distillation cycles. Valued for its labor-intensive production process, Sauce Aroma Baijiu carry a certain amount of prestige and are commonly served to VIP guests.

Z Year of the Zodiac Memorial Sauce Aroma Baijiu boasts a nose of apple, pear, apricots, and grapes. Delicate vegetal notes lilt warmly through the body of slightly smokey, warm tropical fruit. Try Fritos with a caviar dip, spicy short ribs, anything with pickled vegetables, or a smoked mushroom burger.

Delicate Maverick: Rice Bran Aroma Baijiu from Cardinal Tien Junior College of Healthcare and Management.  

Adored for both its scent of warm cooked rice and fruit-forward bouquet, Rice Bran Aroma Baijiu sports a zest of lemon on the nose and body. Floral and pineapple flavors  stage whisper those of grilled, herbed salmon, shrimp and grits, and juicy pork dumplings. 

While potent, Rice Aroma Baijiu is a little different from the other three baijiu styles in part because it is fermented and distilled as whole grains of either short or long-grain rice. Using whole grain rice slows the fermentation which draws out the components Rice Bran Aroma Baijiu is known for. 

Balanced Force: Z Year of the Zodiac Memorial Baijiu, Strong Aroma Baijiu offers ripe tropical fruit contrasted with the depth of barnyard earthiness. Traditionally made in the South of China where it is hot enough to ferment batches of mash in large, venerable fermenting pits, this Strong Aroma baijiu is complex and robust enough to stand up to a Hoppin’ John, jambalaya, or pulled pork sandwich. Try a Fried Oyster sandwich and feel free to bathe it in hot sauce. Strong Aroma Baijiu stands up the spice of Szechuan cuisine like it was born to it… because it was. 

Fast and Floral: Light Aroma Baijiu by Intimate Friend Hand-Craft Sorghum Liquor is aged for three years in jars. Made with sorghum this Baijiu is distinct for its sophisticated nose and body. 

 Light Aroma Baijiu is typically made from sorghum, peas, and rice husks and then fermented in clay pots or, weather permitting, in-ground vats. Traditionally the belle of the north, Light Aroma Baijiu typically showcases a floral, melon nose and a body of dried apricot, bitter herbs, and pine. While a couple of major baijiu styles fall under the Light Aroma Baijiu header, beware: neither pulls a punch. Pair it with herb-roasted chicken, persimmon, citrus fennel salad, or grilled oysters with nasturtium microgreens.