Beyond ganbei | Baijiu-inspired cocktails, beers, foods and more!

By Jim Boyce | World Baijiu Day is coming soon and it’s time to get into the spirit. One theme is “beyond ganbei”—to go beyond the usual “bottoms up” practice of drinking lukewarm shots. There’s nothing wrong with a few ganbeis but there is so much more to explore. Here are a few ideas from World Baijiu Days past.

Cocktails are an obvious pick and bars such as Peking Tavern in Los Angeles, Golden Monkey in Melbourne and The Hide in London have featured them. If you are just getting started, check this primer on baijiu as well as some recipes from around the world.

Infusions are another popular option, with participants such as Lumos in New York, Fu in Liverpool and WE Brewery in Tianjin doing creative concoctions. Meanwhile, The Schoolhouse outside Beijing has made a series of five baijiu liqueurs for years.

Also fun is experimenting with baijiu in foods and drinks. Our deep-fried baijiu experiments were well-received: see the “how to” videos here. Jing-A in Beijing has made baijiu-inspired beers the past two years while WE used baijiu infusions as floaters on its craft brews. Good Works created both a tea and a coffee, the latter a delicious chocolate-y Moutai-spiked creation

And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Other food items included gummy bears, ice cream, and Gung-Ho pizzas topped with seafood sauteed in baijiu. There were also Moutai-spiked chocolates at DoubleTree Hilton in Guangzhou.

Food can also be the inspiration for baijiu pairings. That includes everything from oysters in Milan to dumplings in Portland and Christchurch to meats and sweets in Tianjin.

And there are also efforts to allow people to learn more about baijiu. Flights that show different brands of styles, such as those available at Pop-Up  and Q Bar in Beijing, are a good way to show this spirit’s diversity. There are also quizzes at Capital Spirits in Beijing and classes at the Moutai showrooms in Paris and Sydney.

Follow WBD on Facebook and Twitter. Contact: spirit (at)

Founded in 2015, World Baijiu Day is held each August 9, with events in over 60 cities so far. Follow WBD on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And get in touch via spirit (at)

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