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Drunk in China

Drunk in China - Derek Sandhaus

Drunk in China

China is one of the world's leading producers and consumers of liquor. In turn, alcohol infuses all aspects of China's culture, from religion and literature to business and warfare. Yet to the outside world, China's most famous spirit remains a mystery. That's about to change: baijiu, the most popular alcoholic drink in China, is now being served in cocktail bars overseas. The baijiu invasion is beginning. Drunk in China follows Derek Sandhaus' journey of discovery into the world's oldest drinking culture. He travels throughout the country and around the globe to meet with distillers, brewers, snake-oil salesmen, archeologists and ordinary drinkers. He visits production floors, karaoke parlors, hotpot joints and speakeasies. Along the way he uncovers a tradition that spans more than nine thousand years, and explores how recent economic and political developments have conspired to push Chinese alcohol beyond the nation's borders for the first time. As Chinese society becomes increasingly international, its drinking culture must also adapt to the times. But is the West ready to clink glasses with China, or will deeply rooted stereotypes prove too difficult to overcome? Far from engaging in a juvenile celebration of inebriation for its own sake, Sandhaus has aimed to examine the many ways in which alcohol has shaped Chinese society and its rituals, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
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China is one of the world's leading producers and consumers of liquor. In turn, alcohol infuses all aspects of China's culture, from religion and literature to business and warfare. Yet to the outside world, China's most famous spirit remains a mystery. That's about to change: baijiu, the most popular alcoholic drink in China, is now being served in cocktail bars overseas. The baijiu invasion is beginning. Drunk in China follows Derek Sandhaus' journey of discovery into the world's oldest drinking culture. He travels throughout the country and around the globe to meet with distillers, brewers, snake-oil salesmen, archeologists and ordinary drinkers. He visits production floors, karaoke parlors, hotpot joints and speakeasies. Along the way he uncovers a tradition that spans more than nine thousand years, and explores how recent economic and political developments have conspired to push Chinese alcohol beyond the nation's borders for the first time. As Chinese society becomes increasingly international, its drinking culture must also adapt to the times. But is the West ready to clink glasses with China, or will deeply rooted stereotypes prove too difficult to overcome? Far from engaging in a juvenile celebration of inebriation for its own sake, Sandhaus has aimed to examine the many ways in which alcohol has shaped Chinese society and its rituals, sometimes with disastrous consequences.
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