By Jim Boyce | Acknowledging baijiu is straight up tough on the palates of many visitors to China, Jordan Porter of Chengdu Food Tours notes in a recent post that this spirit also has a long history of being infused with a wide range of ingredients.
“Families throughout Sichuan infuse their own baijiu at home in clay urns or glass jars, with local fruits, roots and herbs,” he writes. “Most restaurants in Chengdu either make their own infusions, or purchase them from farmers or producers that do. Every wet market in Chengdu has a booze section, where huge clay jars are filled with various grades and makings of baijiu, including a range of classic infusions.”
Those ingredients can run from the everyday to the, um, exotic, meaning from goji berries and ginseng and plums to tiger penises
In any case, Porter sees infused baijiu is “a great entry point to learn about the spice and flavors of the worlds most consumed spirit, but in a easier-to-drink sort of way.”
And, he adds, it is pretty easy to make.
He suggests using firm stone fruits, rather than fleshy ones, and a neutral high-proof spirit. Get an airtight jar, insert your fruit, baijiu and rock sugar, and then it’s a matter of waiting til peak flavor. For more details, and infusions tips, see Porter’s full post here.