I tried the Baiju Cocktail at laid-back Sanlitun hangout Second Floor last week, have introduced it to a half-dozen friends, and found the general verdict is: not bad. I mean, the (literal) gut reaction to the word “baijiu” is typically not positive, but bar man Ah Jian has subdued the more intense flavors and smells of this spirit by blending erguotou with Amarula, Kahlua, Bols Brown Cacao, and cream. The baijiu only comes through near the finish, at the back of your throat, something I consider a built-in warning signal to go easy on this one.
Also of note, bartender Pat is shaking and stirring on Tuesdays at Tryst. (He learned the craft while a student at Edinborough.) We enjoyed several of his concoctions, including a French Martini, an Espresso Martini, and an Old-Fashioned. I also tried an unnamed one that included a muddled kiwi, lemon and apple juice, sugar, and Bourbon: suh-mooth.