Sign In


Let's Ask People on the Street What They Know About World Baijiu Day

Aug 9, 2016 | 18:18 Tue
Could baijiu, the world's most consumed spirit, ever get the same love abroad as say, Pisco, or aquavit, Buckfast, or even gin? Probably not, because it tastes like dead dreams and old sweat. But with the corruption crackdown in the Mainland causing high-end baijiu sales to plummet in the last few years, looking abroad is one option for growth. NYC now has Lumos, America's first baijiu bar. An American brand called Byejoe is headquartered in Houston (certified kosher!). And now, today is the second annual marketing push World Baijiu Day, with events in cities from Toronto, Rome, and Melbourne, to Orlando, LA, and Shanghai.

But do everyday people in China know about World Baijiu Day? SmartShanghai went around town today -- which is also Chinese Valentine's Day -- to see if the holiday is a myth.


Our journey began at the All Days convenience store by our office, to pick up one bottle of Taiwan #53 for 23rmb and a bottle of Shuang Gou Da Qu for 7rmb.

Actually this guy was the only person who had heard of World Baijiu Day. "I saw something about it on the Internet." Then the security guard in our building warned us not to drink the cheaper bottle.

"When people drink that, they fall down and crack their head on the wall. Don't you Westerners drink cocktails?"

This gentleman agreed, saying that Shuang Gou Da Qu is really only for cooking. "You don't wanna drink that, but this one is decent." He did not know that today was World Baijiu Day.

American fast-food chain Carl's Jr. currently has a "Moonlight Burger" with a baijiu sauce and baijiu-infused bacon. They're buy-one-get-one right now and actually quite good. The baijiu doesn't overwhelm.

But is this some kind of cross-promo with World Baijiu Day? No. No one at Carl's Jr. had heard of the holiday.

We searched high and low for someone with some information.

This construction boss from Chongming Island hadn't heard about World Baijiu day, but he said Shuang Gou Da Qu is actually "really good", and that people in Shanghai drink huangjiu more than Baijiu.

Maybe we were asking the wrong demographic. Perhaps World Baijiu Day is more for China's upwardly-mobile middle class.

Well, the guy at the Gucci store didn't know anything about it.

Nor did the ladies at Alexander McQueen.

FINALLY, this cat in Xiangyang Park had some info. He told us, "Well, it's basically an industry push to move baijiu and heighten awareness worldwide for the spirit. Obviously sales dominate in China and it's one of the biggest spirits categories in the world, but it has very little movement outside of China. I don't think this holiday is big enough to get any real Baijiu brands behind it, to be honest. It's more of a laowai thing. Also, both those bottles are shit. What are you, a DJ on a tourist visa?"

That cat was right -- we should have asked some foreigners. Surely, Shanghai veteran Mau Mau, a connoisseur of baijiu if their ever was one, would know about World Baijiu Day. He did not, but we drank a glass of Taiwan #53 anyway. Not because of World Baijiu Day, or Qixi, but because it was his birthday, and somehow all three holidays lined up perfectly like a slot machine.

"It burns, but it doesn't burn like garbage." -- Mau Mau, speaking on the Taiwan #53.

That's a win. Maybe every day is World Baijiu Day.


Editorial Policy: At, all of our editorial content is conceived of by our team who live in and critique this city, for our readers who do the same. We don't accept payment for content, unless clearly labelled. Read our full editorial policy here.