So, you write a blog about gin, get an offer to try a spirit from an exotic place, decide on baijiu, and eventually find yourself at the post office with a bottle of erguotou in your hand. First reaction?
“One whiff and I wasn’t sure I’d made the right decision with my choice… the aroma truly is one that takes your breath away, and paint stripper was the first thing that came to mind.”
“I finally plucked up the courage and took the bottle home, only for it to sit in my kitchen for a week or so.”
“When I finally had the time to give it a go I did so first thing in the morning, which probably wasn’t the best time to drink such a strong spirit! However, I needed to try it before my trip to the supermarket to pick up fresh ingredients to play around with. The smell was again overwhelming and quite unpleasant, however the spirit itself wasn’t too bad, and had a pleasant after-taste (compared with what I was expecting from the smell anyway!).”
The author of Gin Monkey says she decided to focus on citrus and fresh fruit, to aim for a “summery drink”, and thus mask that initial blast of baijiu aromas and flavors.
Her first effort was a margarita and she found going heavy on the lime and added a bit of extra triple sec worked best.
Next up was a Shui Jing Feng Grapefruit Sour, based on a similar recipe by Paul Mathew at Blood and Sand blog. She again found an extra hint of citrus — orange bitters plus a grapefruit twist — moderated the baijiu.
The third drink, “Reasons to be Cheer(y)ful“, included cherry puree: “The cherry flavors worked really well with the Baijiu, and with the addition of the citrus over the top of the egg white, took away most of the unpleasant smell again – happy days!”
For more details, including on a final cocktail that was a take on a Side Car, click here.