To infuse your Ming River Baijiu with peppercorns…well, first you need your bottle, so head over to shopmingriver.com and order a bottle right to your doorstep if you live here in the US. With shipping, it’ll cost around $40, which is a great deal. Then, you’re going to want to throw just a small handful of your Sichuan peppercorns in the bottle overnight. If you taste the bottle the next day and you still want more flavor infused in there you can add some more and wait a little longer, but a light touch with infused spirits is important – otherwise you risk ruining the bottle if you get overzealous.
Next, onto the clove syrup. Similarly – you’re going to want to throw a small handful of whole cloves (not powdered) into your 1:1 sugar:water mixture on the stovetop, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Once, you’re approaching a simmer, go ahead and cut that heat and leave the lid on your sauce pan for an hour or two before you strain out the cloves and bottle your syrup for the fridge.
This is a rich conversation with a lot of moving parts. In it, we tackle the history, production methods, and cultural importance of Baijiiu, all of which branch into still other fascinating lines of inquiry. Below, we’ll provide links to some of the topics we discuss, as well as an extensive set of bullet points taken from a seminar that Derek conducted with the WSET (see embedded video below).
Here are some important links, as promised in the audio interview:
Links & References
Baijiu Crash Course
This summary was taken from a seminar in mid-2020 hosted by the WSET, wherein Derek presents a structured, hour long crash course on Baijiu production methods. You can review the bullet points below or simply enjoy the video here: