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Chinese distillery releases Ming River Baijiu exclusively for export

China's oldest distillery has launched the world's first baijiu created solely for the export market.

Ming River Baijiu, produced by the Luzhou Laojiao distillery in Sichuan province, will be distributed by Hi-Spirits. It went on sale in the UK late last month.

Baijiu - meaning 'white spirit' in Mandarin - is the world's most popular category of spirit, with more consumed than whisky and vodka combined. It is typically distilled from fermented sorghum, an ancient cereal grain, and ranges from 35% to 60% ABV.

The Ming River spirit (45% ABV) is distilled from sorghum that has been fermented with wild yeast. The mash is batch-distilled in traditional Chinese pot stills and rested for two to three years before being blended by the distillery's master blender.

Its bottle is inspired by a traditional Chinese lantern and references the history of the Ming dynasty, after which the brand is named. 

Tasting notes from the producer say Ming River is very aromatic and has heavy tropical fruit notes that would lend it well to Tiki-style cocktails such as Mai Tais or Daiquiris.

The producers of Ming River say they hope to introduce a new audience of cocktail lovers to baijiu and champion education on Chinese spirits for the international community. Hi-Spirits will be focusing on this educational element and the versatility fo baijiu as it pitches Ming River to the UK on-trade.


2 October 2020 - Bethany Whymark