This summer Chinese Firewater came to America surrounded by hype, anticipation and hesitation. It’s been almost two months since baijiu landed and I haven’t heard much from it since. What I do know is people are struggling to find a place for the alcohol that people say is reminiscent of gasoline. No kidding they are, the U.S. is not ready for something like firewater.
First off, like I told you, in China they drink baijiu with food. That’s not going to work over here. In the U.S. we typically drink wine and beer with our food. C’mon when was the last time you saw someone sipping straight alcohol with his or her burger? Doesn’t happen. We’ll have to find another way to drink firewater.
And I’m not the only one who realized the problem, so distillers have started to figure out a way to make the alcohol more suitable for our American palettes. The only legitimate solution? To refilter it and dumb down the alcohol content, which is a whopping 110 proof. Sure that will solve the problem but then it won’t even be firewater. It’ll just be an Americanized version of some alcohol they love to drink in China.
Even if we did develop a U.S. version of baijiu how would we drink it? My only suggestion would be to drink it straight because I can’t imagine shooting something that tastes like gasoline. And something that strong isn’t suited for a cocktail. I can’t see it mixing well with others.
I’m pretty confident that firewater should just call it a day and stick with its Chinese roots. What do you think? Will baijiu find its place in the U.S.?