The China Rose Collection
How you doin’? 你好嗎 (Nǐ hǎo ma). I’ve never been a lover of Asian cocktails (most are too sweet or just plain strange) and I don’t particularly enjoy wines with Chinese food. I usually order a variety of different flavors of entrees (hot & spicy / mild & flavorful) that are served family-style and I, personally, find it hard to make a satisfactory selection that will complement every dish. So I usually just order a beer (more on this below). But for those of you who are looking for a happy hour cocktail, here is an appropriate cocktail that may just be perfect for that before-dinner drink—Chinese Cocktail.
Chinese alcohol predates recorded history. Dried residue extracted from 9,000-year-old pottery implies that early alcoholic beverages were already being consumed by the Neolithic peoples around modern China. Made from rice, honey, grapes, and hawthorn, it seems to have been produced similarly to that of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.
6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate (don’t use plain orange juice)
3/4-ounce white rum
1/2-ounce maraschino cherry juice
2 dashes of bitters
2 ounces of sweet & sour
Orange slice for garnish
Beers in Asia have many influences from the many nations who have lived there and the available raw ingredients. The water in the countries also can have a great effect on the taste and quality of the brew.
Some of the best beers I found in Taiwan are:
Amy Yen, my friend and our Taiwan sourcing consultant, first introduced our team to Taiwanese beers at a pre-wedding party at the home of her mother. Princess Amy was descended from Taiwanese royalty and had great knowledge on everything from the island nation. We celebrated many occasions with many “gān bēi.” Roughly translated, “Cheers!” These were the cause of many “sù zuì” (hangovers) and “tóu tòng” (headaches). No matter the language, the pain is still the same.
Some of the best beers I found in Singapore are (in order of preference)
Some of the best beers I found in Philippines are
Some of the most popular beers I found in Thailand are:
Some of the best Craft Beers I found in Thailand are:
Alcoholic beverages in Thailand are heavily taxed and it is hard to get a license. Some of the craft beers are made under license and some are just pop-ups or smuggled in cross border from Cambodia.
Some of the best beers I found in India are:
Some well-known beers found in China are:
You may notice I am less enthusiastic relating to Chinese beer or anything else coming in from China these days. The cheat on ingredients and some food products just don’t taste the same from shipment to shipment. The fact is I just don’t trust anything imported coming in from China—foods, pharmaceuticals, hard goods and yes, even beer. The most consistent of the Chinese brands is Tsingtao. I will order that if there are few other choices.
ChefSecret: For best enjoyment with most beers, enjoy it beer from a glass bottle that has been chilled in salted ice.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “It is really difficult to be on lock-down for so long as the relationships between men and women have changed. For instance, if a woman says, “First of all!” during an argument run like hell, because she has prepared research, data, charts and will destroy you.
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