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Forget our complaints about the pollution, China has an even more intractable public relations problem that has everything to do with the country’s favorite hard liquor. And yes, we are talking about baijiu. In 1854, French Catholic missionary Régis Huc introduced the drink to Western civilization as “absolutely like liquid fire,” while Dan Rather—covering Nixon’s seminal 1972 trip to China—compared it to “liquid razor blades.”

Given that we have had similar experiences ourselves, and given the pervasiveness of this attitude, Jeremy Goldkorn is delighted to host David Moser and Derek Sandhaus for a discussion of the history, craft, and business of traditional Chinese liquors. David is of course an old Sinica hand. Derek is an American writer, baijiu convert, and most recently the author of Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits, an encyclopedic compendium that includes not only details on some of the best drinks in China, but also—stunningly—some great cocktail recipes for putting that bottle of Erguotou to good use at your next dinner party.{chop}

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