So, what the hell is baijiu you ask?
We’ll save you the Google, it is the Chinese alcoholic beverage that represents nearly a third of world-wide spirit sales yet remains relatively unknown in the West. Yes, the most popular drink that you’ve never even heard of. Baijiu, meaning ‘white liquor’ and pronounced ‘bye-joe’ represents a category of Chinese spirits distilled from fermented sorghum or other grains. The history of the spirit can be traced over 5,000 years. Baijiu has an unmistakable flavour and aroma and is known for its powerful kick with an average alcohol content of 40-60%.
In 2012, an estimated 10 to 17 billion litres of baijiu was produced—a volume more than double that of the nearest competitor: vodka. The new pop-up bar, FU on Gradewell Street, will introduce guests to the exotic drink and explore its complexities and nuances. Patrons can enjoy baijiu in one of two ways: straight or contemporary. Straight is the traditional Chinese way. Full-bodied, rich flavour and guaranteed to get you liquored up. Make sure you shout ‘gan bei!’, which means ‘dry the glass’, and show your empty glass to prove just that! Repeat as required to celebrate. Contemporary is all about taking this incredibly famed drink and bringing it into the 21st century. Delicious cocktails that’ll have you drinking on a school night.
Baijiu goes best with a bite to eat so we offer handmade and delicious ‘ghetto dim sum’ to enjoy in-between baijiu toasting rounds. Think: fennel, radish and shallot spring rolls, slow roasted pork belly in sticky black bean sauce and tempura seaweed crisps. Drooling? Don’t feel embarrassed, we all are.
We caught up with the guys behind FU, who are also the same team behind epicured:
“We are thrilled to introduce Liverpool to this unique and wonderful spirit. As the city with the oldest Chinese community in Europe, we think it is fitting that Liverpool will host the UK’s (and we believe Europe’s) first baijiu-focused destination. While similar in appearance to any other white spirit, such as vodka, baijiu is unlike anything else so you really owe it to yourself to take advantage of this unique experience and join us for a glass! When was the last time you had the opportunity to try a drink you’d never previously sampled before?”
The first 10 cardholders that pop down get a free taste on us.
Gradwell Street, L1 4JH