It’s said that once you taste China’s infamous national spirit baijiu ( 白酒) you never forget it.
Roughly translated as ‘white spirit,’ baijiu is not for the faint-hearted – this clear liquor is distilled from fermented grains such as sorghum or rice and has an alcohol content of between 40-60% alcohol by volume (ABV). With a flavour described as anything between a ‘honey’, ‘rotting fruit’ or even ‘petroleum’. Perhaps unsurprising its nickname is ‘Chinese firewater’.
But while it might not sound very tempting, baijiu is clearly pervasive – you would be hard pressed to celebrate Chinese New Year or Autumn Festival in China without being offered a glass or two. Indeed, with over a billion loyal fans in the Middle Kingdom alone, baijiu boasts the title of ‘most consumed alcoholic beverage in the world’.
China’s Dukang Distillers Holdings Ltd (SGX: GJ8) knows all about firewater – this company engages in the production and sales of baijiu, marketed under the Dukang and Siwu brand names, supplying its products to restaurants, supermarkets and speciality stores.
Formerly known as Trump Dragon Distillers Holdings Ltd, the company changed its name in 2010 and is based in Zhengzhou, China.
But did you know…
- The name Du Kang comes from Chinese legend – Du Kang was the inventor of fermented drink in China and is regarded as the forefather of wine production in China and Japan.
- Dukang Distillers is based in Henan, China’s most populated province and the largest consumer of baijiu.
- In 1955, a bottle of Maotai, China’s most famous baijiu brand sold for an incredible RMB 1.26million – that’s almost SG$282,000!
Interestingly, Baijiu is now becoming more popular outside China, with New York City’s Lumos bar devoting a whole cocktail menu to the ubiquitous liquor.
Happily, we don’t have to head that far if we fancy a glass, with My Awesome Café in Telok Ayer, Jiu Zhang on Dempsey Road and Jing Hua Restaurant on Neil Road just a few of the establishments offering selections of baijiu to choose from for those with a discerning palate.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Alison Hunt doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.