What is this Chinese booze?
January 31, 2014 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Gong Hei Fat Choi! My beloved was given this bottle of booze but has no idea what it is - can anyone ID this bad boy? Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3. Thanks!
posted by Carravanquelo to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's Shaoxing Rice Wine.
posted by the latin mouse at 10:38 AM on January 31, 2014

Bam! Thanks TLM! Do you know how it should be consumed? Hot, cold, room temperature?
posted by Carravanquelo at 10:39 AM on January 31, 2014

It makes a fab marinade, but if you're drinking it you want it room temp or warmed.
posted by the latin mouse at 10:48 AM on January 31, 2014

Amazing, thank you!
posted by Carravanquelo at 10:48 AM on January 31, 2014

It's used a great deal as an ingredient in cooking. Just Google as TLM spelled it and you'll find lots of recipes. It's a key ingredient in one of Mao's favorite recipes, and can be used pretty much anywhere in Chinese recipes that you see Sherry listed.

From the Wikipedia entry, I confirmed my own understanding that this is drunk before meals with pickled/salty/spicy snacks or during a meal as a substitute for rice. In the case that it's used as a substitute for rice some families serve it in rice bowls or in dedicated drinking bowls.

From what I can tell, room temperature is pretty much standard.
posted by kalessin at 10:49 AM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's a special type of Shaoxing rice wine called Huatiao, popular in Taiwan. Drink it warmed in the wintertime. Add a dried sour plum for the real local experience.
posted by mono blanco at 12:19 PM on January 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

You ought to taste it at least, but in my experience clear Chinese spirits are basically firewater.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:54 PM on January 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's only 14+%. It is going to taste funky to the western palate, though. Fermented rice drinks taste sweet and funky and it's definitely on the acquired taste spectrum.

Still, yeah, you could like it, so try sipping it.
posted by kalessin at 1:04 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Add some crystal sugar if you so prefer!
posted by misozaki at 3:29 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Taiwanese American here, seconding the salty plum, because that actually turns the stuff delicious.
posted by salix at 1:50 AM on February 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

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