Baijiu represents roughly one-third of global spirits sales but is little-known beyond its home base of China. World Baijiu Day aims to shine a spotlight on this spirit with events in dozen of cities each year.

Baijiu is China’s national drink, with sales of some 10 billion bottles annually, but has only recently starting gaining outside attention. Global drinks firms have invested in baijiu brands, distilleries are starting up overseas, including in New Zealand and The United States, and baijiu bars have opened in Beijing, Liverpool and New York. There is now an annual Baijiu Cocktail Week in London, an English-language baijiu guide, and a growing number of bartenders worldwide are experimenting with this spirit.

World Baijiu Day aims to give further exposure to this spirit, which is typically drunk lukewarm as shots to the toast “ganbei” (“dry glass”), a tough introduction for most people. Given this, the informal theme is “beyond ganbei” and participating venues in over 20 cities have embraced it by offering everything from cocktails, infusions and liqueuers to baijiu-inspired pizzas, beer and ice cream to flights and food pairings.

The third inaugural World Baijiu Day will be held on Wednesday, August 9, a date that sounds relevant (“ba jiu” / “eight nine”). Given many venues want to hold events on the weekend, or for an entire week, the World Baijiu Day site will also  support all activities from , although this site will support all activities from August 5 to August 13.

This site—worldbaijiuday.com—will provides details and updates on these events, interviews with trade people and consumers, and news on baijiu bars, cocktails and producers. You can also follow the WBD accounts on Facebook and Twitter. For more information or to get involved, contact spirit (at) worldbaijiuday.com.

Cheers, Jim Boyce

Note: I also run nightlife blog Beijing Boyce and wine blog Grape Wall of China and have written about China’s wine industry for trade and mainstream publications for nearly a decade. You can foll. He can be reached by email at beijingboyce@yahoo.com or spirit@worldbaijiuday.com or on wechat / weixin at “beijingboyce”.

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