Chinese Drinks

In China, alcohol plays a very big and important role in interactions between people. With the Chinese population being one of the world’s largest, the beverages from the country keep getting better.

Drinking in the country is enjoyed so much that only Russia and Tajikistan have a higher alcohol intake per capita. Here are some of the most loved drinks in china.

Baijiu (White Wine)

Baijiu is strong, clear alcohol distilled using sorghum is usually around 45% alcohol.  This Chinese drink is a staple at many social gatherings in the country.

Baiju has a unique culture going back to the 13th century. Social setting or business meeting will not be complete if a bottle of baijiu is missing from the table. The drink is served using small glasses.

Its popularity in China is so great that it has become the number one selling alcohol globally (in volume). Baijiu sells over 5 billion litres per year. That’s is comparable to all of Singapore’s water consumption in 5 days.

Baijiu “white” or clear (bai) wine (jiu), as locals call it, is more like whiskey, only that it’s clear. Baijiu can be infused with different flavour undertones. The most common are herbal or fruit essences that often have a sweet or medicinal smell.


Also known as “yellow wine” is the Chinese form of sake. It is brewed from grains such as rice, millet and wheat. The brew is consumed without distillation with an alcohol content of around 15 to 20 percent. Haungjiu may be reddish, clear, beige or yellow despite its name. It is pasteurized, aged and filtered before bottling.

Jiuniang (Fermented Sweet Rice Wine)

This is a soup-like Chinese dish, which is unfiltered rice wine. It has a very low alcohol content. Most of the time, it’s prepared by families. Osmanthus flowers are used to bring up the fragrance.

Osmanthus Wine

This Chinese drink is described as sweet with a flowery scent. It’s a delicious drink that’s similar to French liqueur. It can be served chilled or warm.


The Chinese have many cheap popular, and refreshing beers.  Industries are not only owned by foreigners anymore.

Beijing especially has a thriving craft beer scene, and the craze is catching on with all parts of society. Expat breweries began showing up around 2010, and the industry has come a long way since then. Currently, both local and ex-pat brewers use local flavours and ingredients that appeal to local tastes.

The beer is usually sweeter and has less alcohol content, but you’ll still find all types, including IPAs and sours. Notably, the locals drink beer at room temperature in restaurants. If you prefer a cold one, don’t be afraid to ask for it as it’s almost always in a fridge. Among Chinese drinks beer has grown in popularity over the years.

Tsingtao Beer

This is a world-famous Chinese beer sold in 62 countries. It’s a high malt lager with a hint of hops. It doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste; hence it’s easy to drink. This German style beer is produced in the city of Qingdao. It’s produced using spring water from Laoshan in Shandong province, an area known for its water purity. The yeast, barley and hopes used is imported from Canada.

Chinese alcohol has a long history and a bright future. You can enjoy ancient drinks from times long gone alone with new creations in the country. With alcohol being such a big part of Chinese everyday life, it’s exciting to see what the future holds.

While partaking in Chinese drinks, pay attention to the drinking etiquette. Following some simple rules will keep you from offending people.

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