Tuesday, July 31, 2018

World Baijiu Day Is August 9--Celebrate at Sumiao Hunan Kitchen

Have you ever tasted Baijiu, a Chinese spirit which is actually the most popular spirit in the world? Many Americans haven't tasted it and know little, if anything about it. When is the last time you saw a Boston-area writer pen an article about Baijiu? It is a rarity, indicating that more attention should be paid to this spirit. Not enough people are writing and talking about this unique beverage, despite its fascinating history, production methods, and customs. We need to change this and World Baijiu Day can help spread the word, and maybe entice more writers to talk about Baijiu.

Next Thursday, August 9, is World Baijiu Day, a holiday created by Jim Boyce, who runs the nightlife blog Beijing Boyce and wine blog Grape Wall of ChinaThe intent of the day is to raise awareness of Baijiu, to highlight its wonders beyond the borders of China. Jim does a great job year-round to promote Baijiu and his site is a wealth of information. As I've said before, Baijiu seems to be the Durian fruit of the spirits world, both having a reputation for funkiness which turns off some people, while others become fervent fans. It is a compelling beverage and I strongly encourage everyone to seek it out and sample some of its wonders.

I've written eight articles about Baijiu, covering a diverse selection of topics, from Baijiu reviews to a detailed explanation of its production methods. Check out these articles to learn some basics about Baijiu.  

Baijiu: The Durian Fruit Of The Spirits World (Part 1)
Baijiu: Its Unique Production Process (Part 2)
Baijiu: Drinking Etiquette & Some Reviews (Part 3)
Baijiu: Cocktails, Boston & World Baijiu Day (Part 4)
Baijiu: Food Pairings (Part 5)
Vinn Bajiu: Made in Portland
Baijiu: The Essential Guide To Chinese Spirits by Derek Sandhaus
Taizi Baijiu: A New Zealand Treasure

In celebration of World Baijiu Day, there will be events held all over the world, from Beijing to Alsace, Marseilles to Vancouver. Within the U.S., you'll find special events being held in Los Angeles, New York City, Portland (Oregon), Washington D.C. and Cambridge (Massachusetts). Hopefully other places will decide to host events for World Baijiu Day too.

In Kendall Square, Cambridge, Sumiao Hunan Kitchen is once again celebrating this holiday. First, from August 6th to 12th, they are offering a special dish, Sizzling Baijiu Shrimp, for $30 per serving.

This dish is prepped table-side on a sizzling hot plate that is loaded with shrimp, splashed with Baijiu and oil, and then covered.

Once uncovered, they get drizzled with a mix of soy sauce, scallions, and red and green peppers. This looks intriguing, and I'm very curious how the shrimp will taste with the Baijiu. And that dish has tons of shrimp!

In addition to popping baijiu by the bottle including Maotai ($288), Wuliangye ($160) and Luhzou Laojiao ($98), the team at Sumiao also offers tastings of baijiu in one-ounce pours from the Hong Kong ($11) and Jiannanchun ($12) bottlings. Sumiao’s baijiu cocktails are great options for those seeking a sweeter taste of Chinese culture, including Sumiao’s Side Car mixing Hong Kong baijiu, Hardy VS cognac, cointreau, lemon reduction ($12); as well as the Perpetual Motion made with Mianzhu Daqu, blood orange, lime, elderflower liqueur and mint ($13).

Baijiu still isn't easy to find in the Boston area so Sumiao might be one of your best options for celebrating this holiday and learning more about this compelling spirit. Expand your palate and try something different and more unique. Drink some Baijiu and celebrate World Baijiu Day!

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