Topic: Spirits

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China Spirits

Baijiu (Chinese: 白酒; pinyin: báijiǔ; literally: 'white (clear) liquor'), also known as shaojiu (烧酒/燒酒), is a clear Chinese distilled liquor of typically 40%-50%. Each type of baijiu uses a distinct type of Qū during the fermentation process in the distillery for the distinct and characteristic flavour profile.

Báijiǔ is a clear liquid usually distilled from fermented sorghum, although other grains may be used; some southeastern Chinese styles may employ rice or glutinous rice, while other Chinese varieties may use wheat, barley, millet, or even Job's tears (Chinese: 薏苡 yìyǐ) in their mash bills. The starter culture used in the production of baijiu is usually made from pulverized wheat grain or steamed rice.

Because of its clarity, baijiu can appear similar to several other East Asian liquors, but it often has a significantly higher alcohol content than, for example, Japanese shōchū (25%) or Korean soju (20–45%). Despite being a white spirit, its flavour more closely resembles a rich spirit like whisky in terms of complexity of flavour and sensation.

Baijiu is the world's bestselling spirit, with five billion litres sold in 2016. That number was up to 10.8 billion liters sold in 2018, more than whisky, vodka, gin, rum and tequila combined. Baijiu's popularity in China makes it the world's most consumed spirit, but outside of China it is not well known.

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Why shaken, not stirred?

Food and drink Spirits Food and drink/Beverages James Bond

"Shaken, not stirred" is a catchphrase of Ian Fleming's fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond and describes his preference for the preparation of his martini cocktail.

The phrase first appears in the novel Diamonds Are Forever (1956), though Bond himself does not actually say it until Dr. No (1958), where his exact words are "shaken and not stirred." In the film adaptations of Fleming's novels, the phrase is first uttered by the villain, Dr. Julius No, when he offers the drink in Dr. No (1962), and it is not uttered by Bond himself (played by Sean Connery) until Goldfinger (1964). It is used in numerous Bond films thereafter with the notable exceptions of You Only Live Twice (1967), in which the drink is wrongly offered as "stirred, not shaken", to Bond's response "Perfect", and Casino Royale (2006) in which Bond, after losing millions of dollars in a game of poker, is asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred and snaps, "Do I look like I give a damn?"

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Ouzo Effect

Physics Greece Food and drink Spirits

The ouzo effect (also louche effect and spontaneous emulsification) is a milky (louche) oil-in-water emulsion that is formed when water is added to ouzo and other anise-flavored liqueurs and spirits, such as pastis, rakı, arak, sambuca and absinthe. Such emulsions occur with only minimal mixing and are highly stable.

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