Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chinese Rice Wine

Ever tried Chinese rice wine? Apparently some of it is pretty good! This company imports high-quality rice wine for drinking (not cooking or degreasing engine blocks) from China.

I don't remember when I first tried 白酒 bai jiu, but I remember that it takes some getting used to. First of all, it's usually 100 proof or more. The kind I'm familiar with has an acrid, sharp smell that feels like it's going to make your eyes bleed if you're exposed to the fumes.

Bai jiu, it should be noted, can be made from a variety of different grains, typically sorghum or barley. Although the characters can be translated as "white wine", a more accurate description would be Chinese-style vodka. It's very useful for making herbal liquor - the higher proof helps to extract the active ingredients of the herbs.

Someday I'll have to try the rice wine this guy is selling. I wonder if it's at Ranch 99.

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