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.
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。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧