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 embraced it last year by offering everything from cocktails, infusions and liqueuers to baijiu-inspired pizzas, beer and ice cream to flights and food pairings.
In 2015, World Baijiu Day was on August 8, a date that fell on a Saturday and sounds lucky in Beijing (“ba ba” or “eight eight”). This year, August 8 is on a Monday, when many restaurants and bars are closed, so the date is being moved to August 9, which also sounds attractive (“ba jiu” or “eight nine”). Given many venues want to hold events on the weekend, or for an entire week, World Baijiu Day will support all activities from August 1 to August 9.
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.
For a map of the participating venues, see here. For a list of the event activities, see here. Finally, consumers, trade people or journalists who wish to get in touch can reach me at spirit (at) worldbaijiuday.com.
Cheers, Jim Boyce
Note: World Baijiu Day was launched by Jim Boyce, who has run nightlife blog Beijing Boyce and wine blog Grape Wall of China for nearly a decade and written about China’s wine industry for trade and mainstream publications. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or on wechat / weixin at “beijingboyce”.