On World Baijiu Day today, here’s ‘Born on the Baijiu’, a baijiu cocktail recipe celebrating China’s national spirit.
Baijiu, China’s national spirit is a high proof white spirit distilled from sorghum, rice, millet, wheat and corn, and fermented underground for several months. Its funky flavour profile can be divisive but the spirit can work well in a variety of cocktails. If you’re not familiar with the spirit, you can read all about it in our Essential Guide to Baijiu.
The cocktail is named Born on the Baijiu, a play on “Born on the Bayou”, the first track on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s second album, Bayou Country which was released in 1969.
Born on the Baijiu cocktail plays on the fruity notes of the baijiu in a sour style drink using freshly squeezed blood oranges which are currently in season and Solerno blood orange liqueur as a modifier. The five spice syrup complements and adds a hint of warm spices on the back palate while softening the fiery character of the baijiu. A spray of saline solution brings it all together and brightens the drink. If you don’t have a spray bottle for the saline spray, you can sprinkle a little sea salt over the drink.
The recipe below for Born on the Baijiu favours the sour flavour spectrum over the sweet. If you prefer your cocktails a little more on the sweeter side, simply adjust the amount of syrup to your liking.
Baijiu Cocktails: Born on the Baijiu
Original recipe created by Cocktails & Bars
- 40 ml baijiu
- 30 ml freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 20 ml Solerno blood orange liqueur
- 15 ml five spice syrup*
- 20 ml lime juice
- saline spray**
For Five Spice Syrup*:
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, cut in half
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon of cracked Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of whole fennel seed
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
For Saline Spray**:
- 20g salt
- 80 ml warm water
- spray bottle
Garnish: star anise (optional)
Use a cut lime to moisten half the rim of the glass then dip it into a dish with black sesame seeds. Add all ingredients except the saline spray in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Double strain into a chilled coupette and garnish with a floating star anise (optional). Spray the saline over the top of the drink.
* For Five Spice Syrup: Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and toast the spices until they release their aroma. Add the water and sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to steep for an hour. Fine strain using a muslin cloth lined strainer into a swing top glass bottle and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
** For Saline Spray: Mix 20g of salt with 80ml of warm water in a container and stir until clear. Pour into a spray bottle.
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