Baijiu offers a taste of home to Chinese in Miami

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2022-02-25


Overseas Chinese in Miami attend the Xinghuacun Fenjiu evening gala on Jan 29. [Photo by Wen Zhaoyan for China Daily]

Xinghuacun Fenjiu, a renowned white liquor, or baijiu, brand in Shanxi province, hosted an evening gala on Jan 29 in Miami, the United States, to celebrate Spring Festival, which fell on Feb 1 this year.

The gala was also broadcast on a local Chinese-language TV station and social media, while local overseas Chinese, businesspeople and politicians were invited to the site.

Featuring 30-plus performances, the evening gala aimed to offer attendees and audiences an opportunity to experience Chinese culture as well as the branding strength of the time-honored distiller.

And there was also a liquor-tasting activity during the gala, where participants, especially overseas Chinese, said it was something that brought them back to the famed old town of Xinghuacun, which is what the brand was named after and is said to be the cradle of Shanxi' baijiu industry.

Researchers in Shanxi believe the history of the town of Xinghuacun, located by the Fenhe River in the city of Fenyang, dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

But the history of alcoholic beverage production there is much longer. Archaeologists found an ancient alcoholic beverage production site at the location of Xinghuacun Fenjiu Group, which is also based in Fenyang. Unearthed production utensils revealed that the site has a history of about 6,000 years.

Xinghuacun became a household name mainly because of a poem called Qingming, written by Tang Dynasty poet Du Mu. In the poem, Du described his mood during his trip on Qingming, or Tomb Sweeping Day, in April. In Chinese, Xinghuacun literally means apricot flower village.

"A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Qingming day.

The traveler's heart is going to break on the way.

Where can a wine shop be found to drown his dismay?

A cowherd points to the apricot flower village far away."

In Xinghuacun, the production of liquor has continued for thousands of years. In modern times, Xinghuacun-branded baijiu has been a frequent winner of national and international awards, including a gold medal during the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, the US.

In addition to the evening gala in Miami, Xinghuacun Fenjiu has hosted Spring Festival celebratory events in cities in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Liu Jiarui contributed to this story.