又中又英——a lavish banquet

  When my good friend Chim Pui-chung and I co-hosted a TV show some years ago, he would often invite me and the production team to lavish (luxurious, expensive) dinners with wine and Moutai (sometimes spelled Maotai). Chim Pui-chung is known to have top-quality Moutai. I loved drinking his Moutai, which is a type of baijiu (Chinese liquor). Another good friend, Nelson Siu Nai-sun, recently invited me to a very unusual and lavish banquet at the Tai Kwun heritage and arts centre. Nelson is a wine expert who organized the large banquet at Tai Kwun. We ate Western food, including salmon, foie gras, fish, beef steak, and chocolate mousse for dessert.

  Normally, Western food should be paired with Western white or red wines, depending on the dish. But the banquet I attended was unusual because the Western food we ate was paired with Chinese baijiu cocktails. Every dish we ate was paired with a different type of very colourful cocktail made with baijiu. It was a totally new experience for me! A well-known Hong Kong bartender, Kit Cheung Yan-kit, made the colourful baijiu cocktails to pair with each dish. Before each dish was served, he demonstrated to the dinner guests how he prepared the cocktail to pair with the dish and what ingredients he used to mix with the baijiu. All the guests were enthralled. If you are enthralled, it means you are totally interested in something.

  I seldom drink baijiu although I enjoyed drinking Moutai with Chim Pui-chung when we co-hosted a TV show. But the baijiu cocktails I drank at the banquet were so unusual I decided to write about them. The mainland company that sponsored the banquet is called Luzhou Laojiao. The senior staff of the company who attended the banquet told me over 90 percent of the baijiu market is in mainland China. People outside China seldom drink baijiu. Even Hong Kong people prefer wine or whiskey. The company hopes to make baijiu popular internationally. I think foreigners will feel baijiu is too strong on its own but they may enjoy it as a cocktail.

***

  我和好朋友詹培忠幾年前共同主持電視節目時,他常邀請我和製作組同事共進奢華的(lavish)晚餐,席上還有葡萄酒與茅台。人所共知詹培忠有頂級的茅台酒。我愛喝他的茅台,就是中國的白酒(baijiu)。另一位好友蕭乃新Nelson(圖右)最近邀請我去在「大館」古蹟及藝術館,出席一個非常另類且奢華(lavish)的宴會。Nelson是位品酒專家,他在大館舉辦了這場盛大的宴會。我們吃了西餐,包括三文魚、鵝肝、魚、牛扒,還有朱古力慕絲等甜品。

  一般來說,西餐都會根據不同的菜式,配以西方的白酒或紅酒。然而我出席的那場宴會與別不同,因在我們吃西餐時,配的是中國白酒(baijiu)的雞尾酒。我們吃的每一道菜都配以色彩繽紛、以中國白酒(baijiu)製成的各種雞尾酒。這對我來說真是全新的體驗!香港知名調酒師張寅傑,製作了這些色彩繽紛的中國白酒(baijiu)雞尾酒,以搭配每一道菜。每一道菜上桌前,他都會先向晚宴賓客示範他怎樣預備這些配搭菜式的雞尾酒,以及他用甚麼材料去與中國白酒(baijiu)混和。所有賓客都 enthralled;若你是 enthralled,即是說你完全被某事迷住了。

  即使我跟詹培忠合作主持電視節目的那些年,很享受跟他一起喝茅台,可其實我甚少喝中國白酒(baijiu)。但我當晚在宴會上喝到的中國白酒(baijiu)雞尾酒實在太特別,以致我決定要寫一寫。贊助那場宴會的內地公司名叫瀘州老窖,該公司出席宴會的高層告訴我,中國白酒(baijiu)市場超過九成也在中國內地,中國以外地區的人很少會喝中國白酒(baijiu)。就連香港人也偏好葡萄酒或威士忌。那間公司希望可令中國白酒(baijiu)在國際上更受歡迎。我認為外國人會覺得中國白酒(baijiu)單獨來喝未免太濃烈,但用中國白酒製成的雞尾酒,他們會喜歡的。

中譯:七刻

mickchug@gmail.com

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

hd