August 16, 2008

白色桂林 - White Guilin

A friend recently gave me a bottle of mijiu (rice wine, 米酒) purchased on his trip to Guilin, one of China's most famously beautiful cities. Mijiu has a similar taste to sake and is very good drunk on its own either warm or cold. However, when we saw these clear plastic cans of flavored mineral water we knew it was going to be a cocktail night.

The Glinter mineral water comes from Malaysia and is new to China; it comes in several different flavors and is billed as a healthier alternative to traditional soft drinks. I'm not so sure about it being healthy but the clear can is a neat design and the line of drinks has great potential for use in many different kinds of cocktails.

Any mijiu would work, but we used Three Flowers brand (三花酒) which is made using traditional methods and has over a thousand years history. Three Flowers is made using high quality rice and water from the Li river. The spirit is aged in large ceramic pots which are stored in a grotto, keeping the temperature constant as the spirit ages for one to two years.

We mixed equal parts mijiu and lychee flavored Glinter with a small pour of Cointreau. This cocktail will taste best super-cold; we used ice cubes but mixing in a cocktail shaker would be ideal. We're calling the drink, which uses only clear liquids, a White Guilin.

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