Ming River Inc. (2019)
81 Prospect Street
United States, New York
+49 176 2340 7669
Baijiu - pronounced bye-j’yo, meaning “white spirits” in Mandarin - is a category that encompasses all traditional Chinese grain spirits. It is the world’s most popular liquor by volume, surpassing the combined total of vodka and whisky—numbers two and three, respectively. Baijiu and Western spirits are fundamentally different alcohols with respect to their production, ingredients, flavor and aromas.
Ming River is crafted by Luzhou Laojiao, China’s oldest continuously operating distillery, whose production dates back to the year 1573. It uses time honored traditional methods passed from master to apprentice for over 20 generations. Locally sourced red sorghum grain is fermented in earthen pits using local wild yeasts and microorganisms, imparting the distinctive terroir of Sichuan style baijiu. After two months, the mash is unearthed and distilled in small batches using a traditional Chinese pot still. The spirits age for up to two years for a clean finish before the master blender balances them into Ming River’s distinctive flavor.
The Luzhou Laojiao Distillery:
Luzhou Laojiao is located in the lush river town of Luzhou, in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. Luzhou’s alcohol production tradition spans nearly two thousand years. Known for the “thousand-year pit, ten thousand-year mash” production method, the distillery has perfected Sichuan-style baijiu.
The longer a fermentation pit is used, the greater the complexity of the resulting baijiu. Luzhou Laojiao currently operates more than a thousand pits that are over a century old, including the world's most ancient baijiu pits still in use which date back to the year 1573.
Aroma: Begins with green apple peel and gives way to a mélange of tropical fruit—papaya, guava and melon.
Flavor: Spicy pink peppercorn, with pineapple, anise and a bright and briny middle note. A long, mellow and earthy finish.
Drinks and Mixing:
Luzhou Laojiao’s baijiu is traditionally enjoyed neat at room temperature. Its fruity sweetness is the perfect counterpoint to the numbing spice of Sichuanese cuisine.
As a clear but decidedly non-neutral spirit, in mixed drinks Sichuan baijiu's bold aroma and flavor can be called upon to perform like a rhum agricole, Jamaican pot still rum or a Batavia arrack, effortlessly finding a home in tiki drinks while also opening a new world for sours and aperitifs. Additionally, many classic recipes can be enhanced by incorporating Sichuan baijiu in a split base or even just as a rinse.
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