Taking your first sip of Moutai baijiu could be challenging. You take a smooth polished bottle, open the lid and smell the aroma that brings a jolt to your taste buds. Once the Moutai is poured into your glass, you are left with a crystal clear liquid ready to make whatever occasion you are at much better. As soon as it touches your lips, it's like falling in love on the first date. You can call it a shot to the heart, or simply a problem solver.
Former National Security Advisor to the United States Henry Kissinger once said, "I think if we drink enough Moutai, we can solve anything."
During the Long March from 1934 to 1935, Moutai was used to cure all kinds of wounds.
The magical drink was rewarded for its purity and state-of-the-art production at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
"The international award shows the rise of Moutai and the rise of China," said An Huailun, general manager for exports at Kweichou Moutai Group, adding that he is happy to see the product have a global outreach assuring that foreigners are getting a taste of Chinese culture.
The production of this spirit can be found in Southwest China's Guizhou province. Driving a few hours from the provincial capital Guiyang, you will arrive in Renhuai, a small welcoming city that holds the Moutai manufacturing plant in Maotai town. Moutai has state-of-the-art facilities where the production takes place, and the hard-working locals at the packaging plant make sure that their hard work is celebrated with others by sharing a beautiful bottle of Moutai.
A Moutai worker surnamed Liu is having a drink at a local Renhuai pub on a Friday night. Liu has been working for Moutai for five years and said he feels honored to be contributing to such a prestigious part of the Chinese culture.
"I'm very lucky to have this job and I take much pride in it," said Liu.
"Moutai is actually really good for your health, so we drink it a little bit at work, not too much, but just enough to keep us going in full spirits," Liu said.
He said working at Moutai provides a great future for him and his girlfriend as they are planning to get married and start a family.
"The company treats us very well, and we are very respected in the community. I have nothing but good things to say about Moutai," said Liu.
The Kweichou Moutai 80 Years is a limited edition of the brand to memorize its award won during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 2015. Wang Zhuangfei / for China Daily
The iconic Moutai is packaged in red and white. Wang Zhuangfei / for China Daily
A foreign reporter scans the barcode on a bottle of Moutai to trace its production and quality information. Yang Jun / China Daily
(China Daily 04/13/2016 page18)