What To Pair With The Best Baijius

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  04.20.2022

Baijiu, the Chinese liquor, is fermented in open vats in the South or jars further North. It is responsible for a short 10 centuries of hangovers, bad decisions, and random acts of classic literature. Baijiu is a social liquor.

Wedding banquets = baijiu

Retirement parties = baijiu

New in-laws over for dinner = baijiu

Quiet night solo ≠ baijiu 

Colorless and complex, Baijiu is prized for its clarity and relished for its robust flavors and high alcohol content. In general, it is a food-friendly liquor that is capable of playing off of strong flavors and highlighting both subtle and bold infusions of spices. 

There are four primary baijiu classifications that are categorized by aromas: Sauce aroma, Rice Aroma, Strong Aroma, and Light Aroma. Here is a list of the top-rated Baiiju of each classification and what to eat with them. 

Sauce Aroma: Premium and Prized

Serve this to the dignitaries of your life. Sauce aroma baijiu are powerfully structured thanks to multiple rounds of fermentation and up to 8 distillation cycles. Valued for their labor-intensive production process, sauce aroma baijiu carry a certain amount of prestige and are commonly served to VIP guests.

Z Year of the Zodiac Memorial Sauce Aroma Baijiu boasts a nose of apple, pear, apricots, and grapes. Delicate vegetal notes lilt warmly through the body of slightly smokey, warm tropical fruit. Try Fritos with a caviar dip, spicy short ribs, anything with pickled vegetables, or a smoked mushroom burger.

Strong Aroma: Balanced Force

Traditionally made in the South of China where it is hot enough to ferment batches of mash in large, venerable fermenting pits, strong aroma baijiu is complex and robust.

Z Year of the Zodiac Memorial Baijiu, Strong Aroma Baijiu offers ripe tropical fruit contrasted with the depth of barnyard earthiness. It’s bold enough to stand up to a Hoppin John, jambalaya, or a pulled pork sandwich. Try a Fried Oyster sandwich and feel free to bathe it in hot sauce. Strong Aroma Baijiu stands up the spice of Szechuan cuisine like it was born to it… because it was. 

Rice Aroma: A Delicate Maverick

Rice Aroma is adored for both its scent of warm cooked rice and fruit-forward bouquet. While potent, it differs from the other three baijiu styles in part because it is fermented and distilled as whole grains of short or long-grain rice. 

Rice Bran Aroma Baijiu from Cardinal Tien Junior College of Healthcare and Management sports a zest of lemon on the nose and body. Stage whispers of floral and pineapple flavors cajole those of grilled, herbed salmon, shrimp and grits, and juicy pork dumplings. 

Light Aroma: Fast and Floral

Light aroma baijiu is typically made from sorghum, peas, and rice husks and then fermented in clay pots or, weather permitting, in-ground vats. Traditionally the belle of the north, light aroma baijiu typically showcases a floral, melon nose and a body of dried apricot, bitter herbs, and pine.

 Light Aroma Baijiu by Intimate Friend Hand-Craft Sorghum Liquor is aged for three years in jars. Made with sorghum this baijiu is distinct for its sophisticated nose and body. Pair it with herb-roasted chicken, persimmon, citrus fennel salad, or grilled oysters with nasturtium microgreens.