Pronounced: ( bye-j’yo )

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The Bai-ologist is On-call

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Li Bai inspires baijiu drinkers

It’s the classic story. You’ve been putting off learning all about baijiu for years. It’s not that you aren’t curious, per se, so much as it’s a big, complicated wooly mammoth of a spirits category, and it feels like too much work. You’d do it, sure, but you just don’t have the time or the resources.

Then the world comes crashing to a halt, the hospitality industry collapses, and you’re stuck in an apartment with crippling anxiety and no obvious plan to fill the hours.

It’s a classic story. The “time to finally educate yourself about baijiu” story.

I’m here for you. Stuck in an apartment in Jerusalem with no place to go, I was made for this moment.

You may or may not be aware of this, dear readers, that this website has a special “Ask the Bai-olgist” feature. Send me any questions you’ve ever had about baijiu, and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Lately we’ve had some really good ones, like those from Mark, who asked me whether baijiu is always a blended spirit, and how long it takes to ferment the various styles of baijiu. Great questions that sent me down long, detailed rabbit holes. Answers can be found here, filed under “answered questions.”

So what’s that baijiu-related question that keeps you up at night? What is that missing piece of your spirits-afficianado puzzle just waiting to be filled in? Shoot any and all of your questions to derek [at], or post them on Facebook, or @me on Twitter.

Like I said, I’m here for you throughout the crisis. Let’s learn from the Chinese and never drink alone. We could both use the distraction.

And if you are looking for a way to thank me, consider donating life-saving medical equipment to a real doctor or nurse during this crisis:


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Derek Sandhaus

The Bai-ologist

Derek Sandhaus is the educational director of Ming River Baijiu. He is the author of several books about China, including Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits and the award-winning Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture. He currently lives with his wife and dog in Washington, D.C.