David Volodzko is editor of the site Rational Consent and has written for many other publications, including this piece about baijiu for The Diplomat. I asked him a few questions about his experience with baijiu.
When did you first try baijiu?
The need to visit China rose to the top of my glass, as it were, while I was living in South Korea. I hopped the ferry from Seoul to Qingdao and proceeded in a more or less clockwise fashion, reaching the Yunnan countryside before my first collision with baijiu. The stuff we tried was made by local villagers and, being an Appalachian kid, I drank it like moonshine from a jar I had packed full with berries. I also tried a little on its own, but immediately thought better of it.
When did you first begin to appreciate baijiu?
I returned to China in 2012 and cracked open a Red Star from time to time, but only as a means of letting loose. I couldn’t get into the flavor. When a friend from Guizhou asked if I liked baijiu, I hesitated, and he practically force-fed me several cups of Maotai. That was when the lights turned on.
What are your favorite baijius?
I like the peachy fragrance of a Luzhou Laojiao, a steely Kinsmen Kaoliang 58 or a pungent Wuliangye, but there’s nothing like getting lost in the flavor labyrinth of a smoky Maotai.
Read more ‘confessions’ here.