Baijiu Cocktails: Firewater

Today August 9 is World Baijiu Day and here’s a cocktail recipe to celebrate China’s national spirit.

Baijiu Cocktails Firewater

Pronounced bye-joe, Baijiu is a high proof white spirit distilled from such as sorghum, rice, millet, wheat and corn, and fermented underground for several months. For the western palate, it is an acquired taste and can be a challenging spirit at first.

There are various styles of Baijiu, some lend themselves to cocktails more than others. Baijiu cocktails tend to be rare to find but feature in some restaurant cocktail lists. If you’re not familiar with the spirit, you can read all about it in our Essential Guide to Baijiu.

Our cocktail recipe for Firewater plays on the tropical fruit notes of the Baijiu with the use of lychee liqueur balanced with citrus. The Szechuan Pepper tincture adds spice and heat at the same time, a note which complement the overall flavour profile.

Firewater is best enjoyed while very cold. Garnish with a skewered lychee if you wish but in honour of World Baijiu Day, we’ve chosen to serve it along with the signature serve, neat, in a thimble-sized glass.

Baijiu Cocktail Recipe: Firewater

Recipe by Cocktails & Bars


  • 45 ml Baijiu
  • 15 ml lychee liqueur
  • 20 ml lemon juice
  • 3 drops of Szechuan Pepper tincture

Glassware: coupette
Garnish: skewered lychee (optional) and a shot of Baijiu


To make the Szechuan Pepper tincture, infuse cracked Szechuan Pepper in a high proof neutral spirit or vodka (greater than 50% ABV) in a glass jar for 2-3 days. When the flavour is to your liking, strain using a fine strainer and cheesecloth and store the liquid in an eye dropper bottle.

In a cocktail shaker, add the baijiu, lychee liqueur, lemon juice and tincture. Top with ice and shake until very cold. Stain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a skewered lychee (optional) and serve with a shot of Baijiu.

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

Baijiu Cocktails: Firewater was last modified: August 9th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.