Chinese New Year is just around the corner, this time falling on January 28th. This year is the year of the Rooster and big celebrations will begin on New Year’s Eve (January 27th) lasting for about two weeks. Parades, dragons and red lanterns are common features of the celebrations with the New Year being signalled by the ringing of bells and firecrackers. There’s sure to be some big celebrations over the coming few weeks so we’ve put together a nice list of authentic Chinese drinks to enjoy over this celebratory period. If you’re not sure where to source these authentic drinks from, it’s worth trying your local takeaway as many offer a drinks menu so you can enjoy the perfect food and drink pairings.
This is one of the most popular sprits in the world and is often referred to as China’s firewater. This is definitely only for the brave as it contains between 40 and 60% alcohol content, but it’s definitely worth a try to get a taste of the Chinese culture. Baijiu is usually chosen to mark celebrations and is best served at room temperature in small cups. It is tradition to drink this with food so opt for noodle dishes or soups as the flavours complement each other very nicely.
This tea originates from Taiwan and is usually made up of tea mixed with different fruit flavours and milk. Honeydew is one of the most popular flavours in China but there are a whole variety of others you can choose from including papaya, coconut, kiwi, mango, passion fruit and white peach. The hot drinks are often served with chewy tapioca balls in the bottom. Choose a sweet and sour dish or pork dumplings to complement the sweet flavours of this drink.
You might be surprised to hear that China’s Snow beer
by RedRock is the world’s best-selling brand of beer despite being sold mainly in China. 18 billion pints of it are produced each year, which exceeds the amount produced here by UK brands. Snow beer has a very mild but refreshing taste so would be best served with spicy food such as Sichuan ma po tofu or hot and sour soup.
Arctic Ocean Orange Soda
This refreshing orange drink is China’s version of Coca Cola and the polar bear logo on the front of the glass bottles has become iconic for many Chinese citizens. This is only available in Beijing for the moment but can be found at almost all neighbourhood shops in the region.
Hong Kong Style Milk Tea
This Chinese tea is very easy to make at home and is similar to the British style of tea. For many years, silk stockings were used to filter the tea through and it is sometimes still made this way in China. It has a very creamy taste and is usually made using black tea, evaporated milk and sugar. This is normally consumed at lunchtime so would go perfectly with a nice steamed bun.