Baijiu Bottoms Up – Chinese New Year

Baijiu Bottoms Up - Chinese New Year
Baijiu Bottoms Up – Chinese New Year

There is a legend that tell of why Chinese celebrate their new year with lots of noise.

Once long ago there lived a hideous ogre called Nian, who once a year would come down from its mountain lair to hunt, and humans were fair game. The people of the village at the foot of the mountain were so scared, they would lock themselves away when they knew it was the time of Nian’s hunt.

One old wise man in the village suggested that rather than cower in their cellars, it would be better if the villagers banded together and chased the monster away. So they did as he bade and with the noise of fireworks and the banging on drums they confronted the monster, who was taken by surprise. The shock and fear of the fireworks along with the cacophony of drums was more than Nian could stand. With a mind befuddled by the din, Nian began running around in circles utterly confused. Soon the monster became totally exhausted and fell to the ground, where the villagers were able to kill him quite easily.

Ever since then the Chinese celebrate their new year with fireworks and drum beating.

Oh, by the way, the name Nian also means “year” in Chinese.

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The Red Fleet Baijiu Cocktail

The Red Fleet Baijiu Cocktail
The Red Fleet Baijiu Cocktail

Ching Shih, “Madam Ching” was born Shih Yang 1775-1844 in the area of Guangdong. She was a Chinese pirate leader who terrorised the China seas during the Jiaqing period of the Qing dynasty in the early 19th century.

She is widely regarded to be the most successful pirate in history. Based on the fact that she died in her own bed a free woman.

During her active years as a pirate lord, she commanded over the famous Red Flag Fleet that consisted of nearly 2000 ships and 50000 pirates both male and female including children.

Under her rule, the Chinese pirates became invincible, resisting attacks from all major navel powers of her time.

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Baijiu Fire Water – Baijiu Cocktail Indian Summer

Baijiu Fire Water
Baijiu Fire Water

When the Hudson bay trading company started to trade with the Indians, they first bartered with guns, blankets and cooking utensils to trade for buffalo robes. Then whiskey became the chosen token of trade. The traders soon learned that by diluting the whiskey with water they could get two bottles for one, this way they could get more furs much cheaper.

This practice went on for a while until one day a Chinese immigrant who was working on building the railroad had befriended the Indians showed them that by pouring a little good whiskey onto a fire it would cause it to flame up, whereas the diluted whiskey would quench the flames, by this little experiment the term “fire-water” was coined.

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Beijing – Baijiu Cocktail Northern Star

Beijing - Baijiu Cocktail Northern Star
Beijing – Baijiu Cocktail Northern Star

In ancient lore, the emperor was said to be the son of heaven and heavens supreme power was bestowed upon him.

China’s most glorious palace sits in the heart of the capital Beijing. The forbidden city was built facing north as an earthly gateway to the heavenly “Purple Palace” which is the north star, thought to be home to the Celestial Emperor.

Originally the forbidden city was named the purple forbidden city.

There are four gates, one to each point of the compass, The Meridian gate on the south, the gate of divine might on the north, to the east is the east glorious gate and to the west, the west glorious gate.

Around the city is a 52 metre wide moat and a ten metre high wall.

The construction started in 1406 and took until 1420 to complete, with a 100,000 workers, including 100,000 craftsmen.

It covers 0.28 square mile and has 980 buildings in over 70 palace compounds with nearly 9000 rooms.

The inner court is separated from the outer court by a oblong courtyard. It was the home of the emperor and his family. The emperor lived and worked in the inner court, with the outer court being used for ceremonial purposes.

At the centre of the inner court are another three halls whose names are, Palace of heavenly purity, Hall of union and the Palace of earthly tranquillity.

The emperor representing Yang and the heavens would occupy the palace of heavenly purity the empress representing Yin and earth would occupy the palace of earthly tranquillity. In between them was the hall of union where the Yin and Yang mixed to produce harmony.

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Hong Kong Baijiu Cocktail

Hong Kong Baijiu Cocktail
Hong Kong Baijiu Cocktail

The region of Hong Kong has been inhabited since the stone age, later becoming part of the Chinese empire. Starting out as a farming and fishing village also a salt production site, it later became an important free port.

Hong Kong developed initially through its natural harbour, Hong Kong means fragrant harbour in Chinese.

The peninsular and islands that became the territory of Hong Kong was merely a remote pocket in a forgotten corner of the Chinese empire.

Honk Kong’s first recorded meeting with imperial China in the 13th century was a tragic affair. In 1276 a group of loyal retainers of the Song dynasty smuggled the boy emperor, Duanzong south, after the capital Hangzhou has fallen to the mongols who were sweeping across China.

The nine year old Duanzong personal name Zhao Shi boarded a ship and fled south to Guangdong province, in March 1278, while fleeing from the Mongols, in a hurricane Zhao Shi fell from a boat and was almost drowned, he stayed temporarily in Hong Kong. He died a few months later in Gangzhou due to illness.

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