7 Different Chinese Alcohol Drinks with Images

Alcoholic drinks have been innovated and many alterations have been made to enhance their features, especially on how they will taste. One of the countries that specializes in alcoholic drinks would be China. 

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It’s been dated way back 7000 BC that Chinese were brewing alcoholic drinks. That is based on chemical tests on ancient fragments of broken pottery from Chinese villagers. The Chinese alcohol drink beats the oldest evidence of brewing history recorded in Iran as far back as 5400 BC. 

With its long history, Chinese alcohol has evolved and different alcoholic drinks have been manufactured with different brands, may it be local or foreign brands. Let us find out some of the most known drinks of Chinese alcohol below. 

What Are The Different Chinese Alcohol Drinks

Ancient times in China regarded the alcoholic drink as a sacred liquid. It is only used by people to make sacrificial offerings to Heaven and the Earth or ancestors. But it was later turned into an ordinary drink through the use of a brewery and with the development of zymotechnics. 


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chinese alcohol drinks

Shaoxing wine

This is a Chinese wine made out of fermented glutinous rice, water and wheat-based yeast. This Chinese wine also goes by the name of yellow wine and is famous not only as an alcoholic drink, but this is also used in cooking different Chinese dishes. 

This Chinese wine is originally produced in Zhejiang province. It possesses a mild and mellow flavored with clear, amber-colored wine. If you drink the authentic Shaoxing rice wine, it would provide a nutty aroma and a warming finish.

Shaoxing wine is often incorporated with soy sauce and is used in marinades, as a flavoring in fillings, and stir-fry dishes. It has also found its uses in sauces or braised dishes. This wine has an alcohol content of 18%, depending on the brands that you are getting. 

You can get this Chinese rice wine in your local market, or if not, but this wine conveniently online by clicking here


chinese alcohol drinks

Chinese Baijiu

Baijiu is China’s national alcoholic drink made from distilled from fermented grains. Some manufacturers of the Chinese baijiu would make their versions with usually sorghum, wheat, rice, sticky rice, and corn grains. 

Since the grains used are different from each other, its flavor profile would also vary. The Chinese baijiu should always have a complex, full-bodied flavor. Baijiu is also bottled at 50% alcohol content and if you want to drink baijiu, it should be served in small-sized wine goblets. 

Though this popular spirit has not expanded its production outside its native country, Chinese baijiu has represented an integral part of Chinese culture. Many Chinese gatherings, a business meeting and other social activities would toast over with baijiu. 

It is also classified based on its aroma.

You can have rice baijiu, light, strong, and sauce baijiu.


chinese alcohol drinks

Tsingtao Beer 

This chinese beer has a well-balanced taste and pleasant aroma. A mountain area famous throughout China for the purity of its water, which is Laoshan, produces the  spring water used also in the Tsingtao Chinese beer. 

The hops used to brew Tsingtao are  domestically-grown with high quality and are also exported to European breweries. This brand of alcoholic beverage has a big name in China and has already established its integrity as a safe to drink liquor. 

Tsingtao also features on its bottles that protects against bacterial odors, stains and mold growth. You may be able to spot this at local markets in China. 


chinese alcohol drinks

Chhaang

Made from barley , millet, or rice, Chhaang is a fermented alcoholic beverage being enjoyed not only in China, but also in Nepal and Tibet. The main grain ingredient is chilled once they are cooked and yeast is mixed to it. It is then fermented for up to several days. 

Chhaang usually has a low alcoholic content and has a combination of sweet and tart flavors. The texture could be slightly gritty with milky white and cloudy appearance. It could also get a little bit fizzy, depending on how long it has been fermented. 

If you want a creamier and whiter version, you should get the rice chhaang. It has played an important role in local customs and everyday life in the Himalayan valley. It is served as a welcome drink as well as on many festivities and celebrations. 


chinese alcohol drinks

Mijiu

It is said that Mijiu is the first rice wine made by the Chinese, and for that reason, it is called the Chinese basic rice wine. Fermented glutinous sticky rice is what makes the Mijiu. Its alcoholic content ranges between 12% up to 20%. 

Unlike baijiu, mijiu has a clear appearance like tequila or gin. Traditional way of drinking this wine often requires heating before you drink the subtle sweet liquor. In China, you will see Mijiu being used as a cooking wine and known as Michiu in Taiwan. 

You can grab a gallon of this liquor by clicking here


chinese alcohol drinks

Erguotou

This Chinese liquor is a variety of baijiu that is specifically made out of fermented sorghum and is the light aroma baijiu. It is processed using double distillation, thus, it is referred to as the head of the second pot. 

The most famous brands of erguotou came from Beijing and they are called Red Star and Niulanshan. It is also one of the most potent Chinese liquor as it is available in 50% alcohol by volume or 100 proof. 

If you taste the erguotou directly, you feel like you are drinking rubbing alcohol. The perfect way to drink it is to do it slowly in three sips, each between 0.5 and 2ml. Let the erguotou slowly enter your mouth with the first sip. You should notice how it is sweet or salty on certain parts of the tongue.

With the second sip, you’ll need to feel the aroma that this kind of baijiu provides in your mouth. Then the last sip will be the lingering finish. 


chinese alcohol drinks

Maotai Baijiu

Also called as Moutai, this is a distilled Chinese liquor and a style of baijiu made in China’s Guizhou province, specifically at the town of Maotai. It is available at 38.0%, 43.0%, 53.0% Alcohol by Volume and is one of the popular spirits in China. 

Distillation process of this fermented beverage would take up to 7 times in a year and be further aged in clay pots or other earthenware vessels before it is blended. What you will get after this thorough procedure would be a  crisp, complex flavor and purity of a liquor. 

Special tulip-shaped glasses are used in serving Moutai baijiu as per tradition at room temperature. This style of baijiu is commonly enjoyed during special events or given as a gift. In 1915, Moutai baijiu was recognized internationally when it received an award at the San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition.


What Are the Benefits of Drinking Chinese Alcohol

Aside from Chinese traditions and special events, drinking a Chinese liquor in moderation would provide some benefits to your body. 

It is said that drinking a small portion of baijiu on a daily basis helps to increase the blood flow around the body. Since baijiu translates to clear liquor in English, its purity helps the body to flush toxins or impurities and keep the machinery that operates around your blood cells run efficiently.

On the other hand, Chinese rice wine is known for keeping good health. It is  commonly used in the traditional Chinese medicine prescription guiding drug. 

How Strong Is the Chinese Alcohol

Most of the Chinese alcohol mentioned above can go beyond 30% Alcohol by Volume (ABV). That means they have the same potency as the vodka, aside from having the clear color of the liquor. 

This is one of the reasons why baijiu is also referred to as the Chinese version of vodka. They also differ in aroma and the baijiu is classified by its fragrance. Those baijiu varieties that are distilled once often provide stronger flavors and scent than vodka.

ProductBrandNamePrice
NineChefShaohsing (shaoxing) Rice Cooking Wine 750ml + One NineChef SpoonCheck Price on Amazon
QIAN HUQin Hu Michiu (Rice Cooking Wine)- 1 Gallon | 3.785 Liters | Food Service PackCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.