Last week I received an e-mail from 300 Shots loyalist Andrew in Shanghai, whom you will of course remember from his question about which baijius are best for sipping. It seems that in the time since he’s taken the charge to find a casual armchair baijiu to new extremes. He writes:
At a Japanese whisky bar the other night, a friend of mine and I were enjoying a Yamazaki 12-year on the rocks—specifically, those big balls of ice [pictured above]. When we finished, I realized I had a bottle of Hongxing Erguotou in my bag. Not exactly sure why I had it, but there you go. Anyway, after making sure the glasses were Yamazaki-free, we poured the Hongxing over ice and were both very pleasantly surprised by the result. I intend to invest in a big ice ball maker and continue my experiments—certainly a cheaper alternative to Japanese whisky bars.
I should add that some other members of our group were less impressed, suggesting that our palates had been compromised by the Yamazaki. Well, the Yamazaki and the half-dozen or so other drinks we’d imbibed earlier. Which might explain why I can’t remember the specific circumstances that led to a bottle of Hongxing in my bag.
Andrew’s story continued the next day via text-message:
Sober drinking confirms that Hongxing on the rocks is really not bad. Has to be cold though.
And the tragic conclusion, received thirty minutes after the initial text message:
Flaw in the Hongxing plan discovered: not yet drunk and already I have a headache.
Keep fighting the good fight, baijiu warrior.
Notes from north China (see Beijing section)