Celebrate Chinese New Year with Fenjiu baijiu

The Chinese New Year is upon us and 7* Life has discovered the best way to celebrate. Fenjiu baijiu is China’s oldest and most famous luxury white spirit; baijiu can be enjoyed either neat or in premium cocktails. To get a taste of this intriguing spirit, 7* Life was invited to an intimate dinner in the Private Dining Room at China Tang at The Dorchester to celebrate Chinese New Year (which is on 1st Feb) with Fenjiu.

Each dish for the New Year Celebration meal was thoughtfully paired with a different Fenjiu bottle – which are beautifully crafted in themselves. This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the baijiu range from Fenjiu.

We began in the bar with a deliciously fizzy, romantically pink cocktail before being led through for the first course: Classic Steamed Diver Scallop on Half Shell with Black Bean. This was paired with Fenjiu Fen Chiew Red non-aged, which has a lovely palate of caramel, vanilla and pine. The bottle, too, is strikingly red with royal gold artwork and a wonderfully designed bottle lid that could’ve come straight from off an upmarket perfume bottle.

To follow was a delicious Won Ton Soup paired with Fenjiu Qinghua Blue Flower 20 years old. This had a fantastically fruity nose (apples and pears, and a touch of citrus), with an elegant taste of honey, quince and umami.

A Classic Steamed Wild Sea Bass with Ginger and Spring Onion is excellent with the Fenjiu Qinghua 30 years old Blue Flower (incredibly hand painted bottles); a perfect balance between the spirit and white fish.

Meanwhile, Sautéed Chicken with Cashew Nuts was paired wonderfully with Fenjiu Xin Li He Zhu Bamboo non-aged . The sweetness of the caramel and sherbet on the nose, followed by the palatable brown sugar and almond gave a major compliment to the dish.

Perhaps the most beautiful bottle came towards the end, the award-winning Fenjiu Chu Ye Qing Jiu 10 years old (bamboo leaf infused). Available at Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason among others, the gorgeous soft green bottle with gold lid had an equally striking flavour of tropical fruits: mango and guava.

Most of the Fenjiu production process involves six stages: the preparation of a liquid called “Qu”; the grinding and steaming of the grains; fermentation; distillation; ageing and finally blending.

Fenjiu is listed at the bar at China Tang at The Dorchester, at the Baccarat Bar in Harrods and at Ivy Asia St Paul’s, as well as being available to buy in premium retailers including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods, RRP from £30 – £160 per 500ml bottle.

Fenjiu makes a fabulous gift at any time of the year and the bottles themselves are beautiful; many people keep them as ornaments when they are empty.

For more information, visit chengintl.co.uk