By Jim Boyce | Peruvian restaurant Pachapapi in Beijing has put some baijiu power into its new cocktail menu with delicious results. I tried both baijiu-inspired drinks during the buy one, get one free nigiri and maki night.
The first is fruity refreshing El Brujo. It includes several of Pachapapi’s berry “shrubs” — syrups made with sugar, vinegar and fruit. These are blended with erguotou, a light aroma baijiu ubiquitous in Beijing, and blood orange soda from Bundaberg, for a nice effervescence. The baijiu is evident but nicely tamed by the fruit.
The second is called Alpa-Chino, far more pungent, and a tribute to the Chinese of Peru. (According to the menu, the first immigrants arrived in 1849 and now “1 of every 10 Peruvians has Chinese ancestors!”). This drink also uses erguotou but balances it with the Peruvian grape-based liquor Pisco. Then gives it a kick with Thai lemongrass and fresh lime juice. The baijiu is far less evident in this nevertheless delicious drink.
If I had to pick, it’d be the El Brujo, but luckily I’m capable of downing both on any given night.