China’s ancient drinks

Huangjiu/ Yellow wine  

Huangjiu, which is literally translated as ‘yellow wine’ or ‘yellow liquor’ in English, is a type of alcoholic beverage made from rice, grain and millet that often takes on an amber colour. Unlike Baijiu, Chinese huangjiu is not distilled so the alcohol level is lower than Baijiu, on average below 20%. This historical liquor is frequently referenced in Chinese literature. Its first official record is found in the Spring and Autumn Annals of Lu, a  241-year-old chronicle documenting of the State of Lu which existed from 722 BC to 481 BC.

During the Song Dynasty (960AD-1279), yellow wine made from Shaoxing in China’s coastal Zhejiang province became particularly sought-after, and was a regular tipple for the Song Royal Court. At the height of the dynasty, it was called ‘the first flavour of Chinese taste‘. Similar to Georgian winemaking, the liquor is aged in amphora-like clay pots. A variety of this liquor is called Nu’er Hong or ‘daughter’s red’. The name originated from the tradition that the drink was buried underground when a daughter is born and then dug up to drink with friends and family when the daughter is married.

Huangjiu follows a few sets of classifications based on its geographic origin and sweetness. Its sweetness varies from dry, off dry to semi-sweet and extra sweet.

4 Responses to “China’s ancient drinks”

  1. Ben says:

    I only drink Maotai

  2. ANIL K SINGH says:

    THANKS FOR NICE INFORMATION,
    WOULD LIKE TO SHARE CULTURE FROM INDIA, HERITAGE DRINK CULTURE OF RAJPUTS

  3. yeetlediedlittleandsodidyourmum says:

    cool

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