Located in New York’s Greenwich Village is Lumos—the first Baijiu focused bar to open in the U.S. Lumos co-owner Orson Salicetti was inspired by the diverse flavor profiles of Baijiu and wanted to introduce the spirit to the seasoned or adventurous drinkers in New York.

CCTV America’s Shraysi Tandon reports from New York.
Follow Shraysi Tandon on Twitter @ShraysiTandon

The first Chinese Baijiu bar opens in the US

The first Chinese Baijiu bar opens in the US

New Yorkers aren't missing out on Chinese New year. The city now has its first Baijiu bar. Baiju is a strong Chinese distilled spirit made from grains, and it's making quite an impression in New York City.
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Baijiu is the world’s best-selling spirit, but little-known outside China. Made from sorghum and grains, Baijiu packs more wallop than vodka. The spirit is often bottled at a 100 proof, or higher, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Its relative rarity here in the West makes Baijiu exotic—which may account for the growing demand for it in trendy London and New York bars.

Steaven Chen is a principal at CNS Imports, a company that’s one of the oldest and largest Baijiu suppliers in the U.S. Chen says Baijiu is a category, like whisky, and has six different aroma categories.

These aroma or fragrance categories include:

1) Sauce Aroma: A highly fragrant distilled liquor with bold characteristics, named for its similarity in flavor to Chinese fermented bean pastes and soy sauces. This class is also referred to as “Mao-scented” after the best known liquor of this class, Moutai.

2) Strong Aroma: Characterized by a complex floral aroma and fruity, sweet taste. Fermented in aged cellars, it has a concentrated and rich flavor. Most of the Baijiu produced in Sichuan are of this classification.

3) Light Aroma: Characterized by a delicate, dry and light taste, it has a more neutral taste and is great for using as a base for cocktails.

4) Rice Aroma: Sweet, smooth and soft. This type of liquor has a long history and is a classic southern style of Baijiu.The most famous example of Rice Aroma Baijiu is produced in Guilin.

5) Phoenix Aroma: This style of Baijiu is fermented in pits and aged in rattan containers. They have a fruity taste similar to strong-aroma baijiu, but also have earthier characteristics and an expanding finish.

6) Mixed Aroma: This is a blend of two or more varieties of baijiu and are produced with hybrid fermentation and distilling processes. Baijius in this class vary widely in aroma, mouth-feel, and dryness.