What a year. For me, for baijiu, for the world.
In 2014 I hit the ground running with my new book, Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits. Some people thought was a great holiday gift in 2014, but it should read just as well in 2015. The paperback version of the book should be available in the US—fingers crossed—sometime soon (it’s already available in mainland China and Hong Kong). If you want to be among the first to snag a copy, please send me note and I’ll keep you posted.
Last year you could hear me on a Sinica podcast, see me on WSJ and read my writing in Foreign Policy and Punch. I was spreading the Gospel of Jiu across the world, from China to New Orleans, and to my new home in Buenos Aires. More thrilling still, I got shout outs in Playboy and Vice, and was named Time Out Beijing’s Mr. April. Things were heating up on the blog, too, where I wrote about black-market “cooking wine,” drinking swine and baijiu cocktails galore.
In the US, my friends at CNS Imports were bringing China’s best baijiu to Americans one shot at a time. Then there are all those newfangled American baijiu companies making waves, most conspicuously Byejoe. If Americans starts slugging back the Guizhou Grappa, there might just be peace in our times.
Meanwhile in the Middle Kingdom, President Xi’s campaign to stomp all the joy out of the PRC marches ever forward. A Moutai boss got stung (but really, who isn’t getting stung these days) and baijiu sales dipped as the government continues to experiment without alcohol.
Yet not all was so gloomy under the perma-smog. Jack Daniels has gotten in bed with Wuliangye, which should result either in exciting developments on the international liquor market or the end of all life as we know it (possibly both). Beijing got its very first, totally awesome baijiu bar. And Chinese social media is abuzz with a new competitive baijiu binge-drinking game. Anybody want to bet me a bottle of Moutai that this will end with a fatality and/or a government crackdown (possibly both)? Anybody?
Thanks to all of you for making last year the site’s busiest in terms of readership and traffic. I remain ever grateful for your support and hope that we’ll be seeing more of each other in 2015.
Happy New Year!
Posts of Greatness 2014
- Announcing: Baijiu the Book
- Baijiu of the Month: Shui Jing Fang Forest Green
- “Baijiu the Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits” Out Now